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It's the most dangerous time of the year.

As the holiday season is upon us, the amount of stress people are under and weather conditions play into distracted driving. Christmas and New Year’s are in the top five of the most dangerous holidays for drivers.

What these holidays have in common over the rest of the year is weather. While you can be distracted by so many different items inside your vehicle, adding weather on top of it can make it worse.

Ice and snow around Christmas is enough to stress anyone out while they are trying to visit family and holiday shop. This is not the time to be distracted, but beyond texting or intoxication, individuals are distracted by passengers, eating, maps or GPS, and fatigue.

Some Tips To Help: 

  • During the holiday season, many individuals are working overtime to get work done so they can take the time off for the holidays and not feel swamped when they return. This means individuals are more tired than usual, and driving multiple hours to take your family to visit in-laws only adds to your fatigue. Make sure to plan extra travel time so you can take more breaks and switch drivers more frequently. Drowsy driving impairs judgment, slows reaction time, and increases the amount of time you need to stop.

  • Try to have a route planned before you start driving, enter it into your GPS, or have the front passenger be in charge of the map so you can focus on driving. If you are traveling alone and weather forces you to take another route, pull over to determine your new route.

  • Have your vehicle checked over before a long trip and make sure that you have an emergency kit in your vehicle that is created with winter in mind. Include items like an ice scraper, flashlights, blankets, jumper cables, and a first-aid kit.

  • Find activities for your passengers to do that are quiet and not too distracting. Avoid trying to change DVDs while driving, but instead wait until you stop completely. Teach your kids the importance of distraction-free driving by having them help participate from a young age. Teaching them to not distract you will show them how to be responsible drivers.

  • With increased traffic during the holidays, make sure to increase your following distance, especially in bad weather. Commercial vehicles will also be on the roads in larger numbers; do your part to not linger in their blind spot too long as it is difficult for the driver to see you.

  • Above all, keep your phone on silent and out of your hands, designate a non-drinking driver for festivities, teach your passengers to not be distracting, and stay well-rested.

  • Ice and snow make driving a dangerous adventure, but being aware and increasing your following distance can help prevent accidents.

Lucas Zeiler 

lucas@zeiler.com

708.597.5900 x651



POSTED DECEMBER 12, 2017 7:30 PM
Wishing you a Magical Holiday Season!

 

 

 

All of us at Zeiler Insurance Services, Inc. would like to wish you a magical holiday season!


Our offices will close early on Friday, December 22nd at 2:30pm and be closed on Monday, December 25th and Monday, January 1st.


Should there be an emergency please call Dan's cellphone at 708.436.2973
 
- The Zeiler Insurance Team

 

 



POSTED DECEMBER 06, 2017 6:00 AM
Pekin Insurance: Avoid These Mistakes When Naming a Beneficiary

One of the most important decisions you make when buying a life insurance policy is naming the beneficiary.

After all, that person, or persons, is the reason you’re buying the insurance; you want to provide some financial security for your loved ones when something happens to you. It’s important, therefore, to put some thought into who you are naming as your beneficiary and what information you provide on them.

Whoever you name as beneficiary, let them know.

If your beneficiary doesn’t know they’ve been named as such, how much the policy is for, and where the policy can be found, they may not know to file a claim when you die. It’s important to let them know.

Don’t forget to periodically update your beneficiaries.

It’s good practice to review your beneficiaries whenever your life (or lifestyle) changes. Just as your life changes, so do the lives of your beneficiaries. People move, get married or divorced, get older, and sometimes, die. If the beneficiary information is incorrect, it may cause an unnecessary delay when the money is needed most.

Don’t assume that a will overrides your life insurance policy.

Your insurance policy is a legal contract, which means that it, not your will, controls what happens to the policy proceeds when you die. If you divorced your ex-husband five years ago but haven’t changed the beneficiary, he’s still going to receive the money even though your will names your current husband as your beneficiary.

Don’t name a minor as beneficiary.

In most states, a child under age 18 is considered a minor and not legally responsible for their own actions and decisions. If you haven’t named a legal guardian in your will (you do have a will, don’t you?), the state court will step in to oversee the distribution of the death benefit, which can get very complicated. The court may name a non-family-member as guardian, if it chooses. That guardian will oversee the distribution and will have to prove to the court that the money is used for the child’s benefit. But once the child turns 18 (21 in some states), the child gets all the money, regardless of maturity, and can do with it whatever he or she wants. (If you had received a large amount of money when you turned 18, how much of it would you still have today?) Instead of naming the child as beneficiary, consider setting up a trust to receive the life insurance death benefit. That way, you can specify how the money should be paid out (installments, lump sum, etc.), when it should be paid out (at specific ages or for a specific purpose, like college expenses), and so on.

Don’t forget about government assistance.

If whomever you name as beneficiary qualifies for government assistance of any kind, receiving the death benefit could disqualify them from receiving further assistance. This is especially important if the beneficiary is a child or adult with special needs. In this situation, establishing a special needs trust would be a better option.

Don’t make your death benefit taxable.

Generally, life insurance death benefits are received income tax-free. Naming the wrong person as beneficiary, though, could make the payout subject to federal and state gift taxes. This happens when a third-party beneficiary is involved. For example, if you are the owner of a policy covering your spouse and you name your child as a beneficiary, the payout will be considered a “gift” for tax purposes and will be taxable as ordinary income. That can significantly reduce the money that was intended to financially support that beneficiary. To avoid this situation, the insured and the owner on the policy should always be the same person.

By taking care to avoid the mistakes listed above, you’ll save your loved ones unnecessary stress (and, potentially, a lot of money) when you die. Give us a call, we can help you review your beneficiaries and make any updates that may be necessary.

Lucas Zeiler

lucas@zeiler.com

708.597.5900 x651

 

 



POSTED DECEMBER 06, 2017 6:00 AM
5 phishing scams you need to be aware of

Phishing uses the name of a trusted entity – often financial institutions – to get sensitive personal information such as passwords and credit card details via bogus email or texts. 

“Scam or phishing emails typically have one of two strategies: fear or greed,” Jonathan Penn, Director of Strategy at security software firm Avast, told Fox News. “Fear includes email notifications that your account has been locked, there are charges that you didn’t make, or just that there’s been suspicious activity you need to check. Greed includes notifications about free gifts, trips, or gift cards; stock advice or debt consolidation or financial advice."

Phishing scams are often presented as a call for immediate action. That should always be a tip off.

“Consumers should remember that urgent requests for personal information or call for immediate action are almost always a scam,” a Bank of America spokesperson told Fox News. 

Needless to say, never click on links inside suspicious emails.

Here are five of the most common phishing strategies.  

Your account has been disabled or suspended 

This arrives as an email or text that claims a user's account has been or will be locked, disabled or will expire and asks for login credentials.

A very recent example is an Apple text/email phishing scam that states: “Your Apple ID is due to expire today.” This is one of the more sophisticated scams since it contains no glaring grammatical or spelling errors, a frequent failing of scams.

AppleID's do not “expire” and the malicious URL, in the case, does not point to a real Apple domain.

Irregular or fraudulent activity detected 

This scam poses as a "security" update. The scammer will claim fraudulent activity has been detected on your account or your account has been subjected to a “compulsory ‘security update’ and you need to login to enable this security update,” Symantec, a Internet security company, told Fox News.

Tip: If a login link is provided, it's invariably a scam.

Online retailer scams 

With the holiday season just around the corner, these scams have the potential to be effective because they can appear as relatively innocuous and appeal to greed rather than fear.

One that has increased over time is fake orders associated with Amazon. “If you received correspondence regarding an order you didn't place, it likely wasn't from Amazon.com,” the tech giant wrote on a customer-help page on its website

Fake pop-ups 

While not technically phishing, fake pop-ups are an old trick and still widespread. 

The ultimate net effect can be similar to phishing if the scammer gets you, in the end, to provide sensitive information.

"The scammer will typically attempt to get the victim to allow remote access to their computer," said Malwaretips. "After remote access is gained...the scammer relies on confidence tricks...in order to gain the victim’s trust to pay for the supposed 'support' services, when the scammer actually steals the victim’s credit card account information."

Taxes

While not necessarily one of the largest scams, one that is increasing in popularity is tax-themed phishing.

Themes range from updating your filing information to IRS warnings that you owe money. “One thing that’s for sure is that the IRS doesn’t communicate via email or text message, they still send snail mail,” Symantec told Fox News.

For detailed information on email security threats, see this Symantec Internet Security Threat report issued this month. 

Dan Zeiler

dan@zeiler.com

708.597.5900 x134 

Source: http://www.foxnews.com/tech/2017/10/20/5-phishing-scams-need-to-be-aware.html



POSTED DECEMBER 06, 2017 6:00 AM
Do You Know Your Pictograms?

Even though it’s been two years since OSHA adopted new chemical labeling requirements, EMC Industrial Hygienist Steve Shaffer has visited organizations who haven’t yet upgraded to the new standard. “That’s usually because they aren’t aware of it or don’t understand the finer points of the rule,” Steve says.

What’s a Pictogram?
The chemical’s label contains several standardized pieces of information, including a signal word, a hazard statement, health hazard information, manufacturer or distributor contact details, and a pictogram, which is a graphic that visually provides important information to the worker handling the chemical.

While all label information is useful, the pictograms are especially valuable if workers hurriedly grab chemicals without taking the time to read a lengthy label. Pictograms are also a practical tool for workers who have trouble reading or who aren’t native English speakers and readers.

The images, combined with simple language, allow workers to immediately know what dangers the chemical presents. And since the information is always in the same location on labels, it takes less time to find essential details. This can be a lifesaver in case of a spill or if the chemical comes into contact with a worker’s skin, eyes or other body part.

There are nine pictograms, with eight of them enforced (the environment pictogram is not mandatory).

 

More About Pictograms

  • Labels, including pictograms, are required on all hazardous chemicals (note that chemicals with older labels can still be used).
  • Pictograms on chemical labels being shipped by manufacturers, importers and distributors must include a square red frame set at a point (a.k.a. “diamond shape”) with a black symbol on a white background.
  • These pictograms are not the same as the diamond-shaped labels that the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) requires for vehicles transporting hazardous materials. While a truck may be required to post the DOT label, the containers holding the chemicals (boxes, spray bottles, drums and other individual containers) must have pictograms.
  • As an employer purchasing chemicals, you’ll be responsible for maintaining the labels on the containers. They must be legible and remain on the container. If older labels are on the container, you don’t need to update them but if the label is removed or damaged, you are responsible for relabeling. And remember that employees must be trained so they understand all styles of labels you have on site.
  • The biggest oversight by organizations using hazardous chemicals is not labeling secondary containers. If you transfer chemicals from a large drum or tank into a smaller container, you must label it with a pictogram label.

There’s no doubt about it—using standardized labels with pictograms makes your job easier. “There are fewer phrases to understand and fewer explanations needed,” says Steve. “You can see at a glance what you are dealing with when handling a chemical, especially if there is an accident. Bottom line: Training is easier, what to do in case of an accident is clearer and your operations should be safer because of these graphics on labels.”

Dan Zeiler

dan@zeiler.com

708.597.5900 x134 

 



POSTED NOVEMBER 28, 2017 6:00 AM
Supplemental Snow Plowing: 3 Unexpected Risks to Your Operation

Are you supplementing your usual lawn and landscaping or construction income by plowing snow this winter? Lots of contractors do this successfully, however there are some risks to your operation that even seasoned snow removal pros might find surprising.

Slip and Fall Claims

If you’re plowing snow for other entities, it’s entirely possible that you may be involved in liability claims for slip and fall injuries that occur on those properties. In fact, up to 90 percent of snow contractor liability claims are related to slips and falls. Liability for these injuries is handled differently from state to state, however there are things you can do to reduce your exposure to these types of claims.

  • Know the numbers and service accordingly. Slip and fall claims happen more often in areas with heavy pedestrian traffic—think sidewalks and shopping malls—so you want to be especially vigilant in your monitoring and removal efforts of these kinds of properties.
  • Use contracts for every client. Written work agreements should be in place with all of your customers to ensure everyone is on the same page about when and how you will be servicing the properties. You can find contract templates online, but make sure the document covers triggers for service, areas to be serviced, timeframes in which clients can expect service and a detailed list of your responsibilities (plowing, shoveling, applying salt or sand, etc.). It’s also a good idea to have an attorney review your contract template or any changes requested by clients.
  • Check your coverage. Work with us to make sure you are covered for your snow removal activities. If you use subcontractors, require that they provide proof of their own coverage.
  • Keep accurate records. To show that you’re adequately fulfilling your responsibilities, you should keep records of weather events and the times/places you perform removal services. This doesn’t have to be fancy – even paper logs kept in the trucks can do the job as long as they are filled out consistently and retained.

Lack of Preseason Planning

Once a property is covered with a blanket of snow, it can be challenging to spot hazards to your equipment or to make sure you have cleared all pedestrian paths. Do yourself a favor and conduct preseason inspections of all customer locations before the snow flies. Document property details including obstacles to avoid (speed bumps, tire stops, utility covers, landscaping features, etc.) and special information such as operating hours for commercial clients.

You should also plan ahead to choose the best place to pile the snow for the property. Pick an area with minimal pedestrian traffic where the surface slopes away from sidewalks and parking lots. Otherwise snow melt may cover walking paths and refreeze into slippery black ice.

Spreading Yourself Too Thin

Snow removal is obviously driven by the weather, which means much of your schedule is out of your control. While you can’t control the forecast, you should be aware of the dangers of overworking yourself and take preventative action when possible.

  • Maximize your efficiency. Use your existing equipment as efficiently as possible to minimize the time you spend doing unnecessary work.
  • Have a backup plan. If a major storm occurs, will you be able to meet the service expectations of your clients? Consider having additional experienced employees or subcontractors on-call to ensure you can meet the demands of your contracts.
  • Give yourself a break. Fatigue is an often overlooked hazard that can set in after hours of driving. It makes you less attentive behind the wheel, impairs your reflexes and increases your risk of a collision. Tips for managing driver fatigue include banking extra sleep in advance of predicted storms, taking regular stretch breaks during snow removal marathons and consuming caffeine in moderation.

Lucas Zeiler

lucas@zeiler.com

708.597.5900 x651 

 



POSTED NOVEMBER 28, 2017 6:00 AM
The Marijuana Conversation: Questions Employers Are Asking

Over the next serval months, we will be diving into the National Council on Compensation Insurance (NCCI) Marijuana Conversation series aimed at exploring the issues surrounding marijuana’s impact on workers compensation stakeholders. “The Marijuana Conversation: Questions Employers Are Asking” is the second installment. 

As discussed in NCCI’s previous Marijuana Conversation - “Questions Workers Compensation Insurers Are Asking” - medical marijuana is currently legal in 29 states, as well as Washington, DC. It’s also legal for recreational use in eight states and Washington, DC. However, marijuana is still illegal at the federal level and is classified as a Schedule I drug under the federal Controlled Substances Act.

Like insurers, employers face a host of questions regarding the growing legalization of marijuana, what impact it may have on the workplace, and how it may relate to an employer’s workers compensation coverage.

Below are three key questions employers are asking as marijuana becomes legal across the nation.

What is the impact on workers compensation when an employee is injured on the job while under the influence of marijuana?

Employers want to know how legalizing marijuana will impact workplace safety and, ultimately, their workers compensation insurance. Employers have questions about how their workers compensation coverage is impacted if an employee legally using marijuana is injured on the job and is found under the influence of the substance when the accident occurred.

The majority of jurisdictions (47) have workers compensation laws that address this issue and, in some form, restrict workers compensation benefits when a worker’s injury is attributed to intoxication or drug use. Of those, 40 states are able to completely deny all benefits (100% of medical and income benefits) and a handful of states deny income benefits, but allow injured employees to receive medical benefits.

A few states allow benefit reductions based on intoxication and/or drug use. Laws in 18 jurisdictions contain language addressing “presumptions,” where the intoxication/drug use is presumed to be the cause of the accident if the employee tests positive. In all but a few of those states, the employee can rebut the presumption with certain evidence. And 13 jurisdictions deny benefits if employees refuse to participate in drug and/or alcohol tests.

Some states have explicitly addressed the use of medical marijuana on the job. For example, Montana’s workers compensation law says that an employee is not eligible for workers compensation benefits if the employee’s use of medical marijuana is the major contributing cause of the injury or the occupational disease.

However, questions remain as to what constitutes impairment from marijuana and how to determine if an injured worker was under the influence of the substance at the time of the accident. Since marijuana can stay in a person’s system for a period of time, it’s possible that the injured worker could test positive for the substance but not be impaired at the time of the accident.

How do employers handle issues like administering a drug-free workplace and establishing hiring practices when employees are legally using medical marijuana under state law?

As marijuana has become permissible for medical use in more than half of the states, there is increased discussion about using medical marijuana to treat workplace injuries. Employers may be wondering: Does an employee’s legal use of medical marijuana impact whether an employer must allow use of the drug in the workplace? What are the implications if the employee’s medical marijuana use is to treat a work-related condition?

Many employers have drug-free workplace policies, but to date, no state has explicitly placed restrictions on them.

For example, the Colorado Supreme Court ruled that employers can terminate workers for using marijuana outside of work hours because it is unlawful under federal law, even though the drug is legal in the state. In addition, federal district courts in New Mexico and Washington have ruled in favor of employers’ drug-free workplace policies. These cases involved employees who were legally using medical marijuana under state law outside of working hours.

On the legislative side, Florida enacted legislation this year implementing the state’s new medical marijuana law that passed in 2016. The Florida legislation says that the new medical marijuana law does not limit an employer’s ability to enforce a drug-free workplace program or policy.

It is unclear whether this will change if the use of medical marijuana to treat workers compensation injuries becomes commonplace.

Has there been any recent state activity that may further complicate matters for employers in determining how to handle the marijuana issue?

As noted above, no state has explicitly placed restrictions on employer drug-free workplace policies. However, nine states (Arizona, Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Maine, Minnesota, Nevada, New York, and Rhode Island) have antidiscrimination or reasonable accommodation provisions as part of their medical marijuana laws that may impact how employers enforce such policies.

These antidiscrimination or reasonable accommodation provisions may raise questions as to whether employers can act when an employee or potential employee is a medical marijuana subscriber or has tested positive for marijuana. Further, because many state marijuana laws are relatively new, there may not be much guidance for employers to follow when implementing drug-related workplace rules.

Two recent cases in New England highlight the complexity of the relationship between marijuana and the workplace. In July 2017, Massachusetts’ highest court ruled that an employee who was terminated after testing positive for marijuana could proceed with a claim against her employer based on the state’s disability discrimination statute. Then, one month later, in August 2017, a Connecticut federal district court ruled that a job applicant could bring a lawsuit against her potential employer for discrimination under Connecticut’s medical marijuana law when the employer rescinded a job offer based on the applicant’s positive drug test for marijuana during the preemployment drug screening.

While these decisions are generating a lot of attention right now, it remains to be seen whether the courts will ultimately rule in favor of employers’ drug-free workplace policies. No doubt, employers will pay close attention as these cases work their way through the judicial system.

Conclusion

Though medical marijuana is legal in the majority of states, employers are left with questions about its use in the workplace and the potential impact on drug-free workplace policies and workplace safety. It remains to be seen how states and courts will address these issues going forward, but employers will pay close attention as developments unfold. As marijuana-related laws continue to develop, employers will likely navigate a state-by-state patchwork of laws for guidance, unless the federal government steps in to provide clarity.

Stay tuned for our next edition of The Marijuana Conversation, which will focus on questions employees are asking.

Click Here to review first installment: "The Marijuana Conversation: Questions Workers Compensation Insurers Are Asking"

Dan Zeiler

dan@zeiler.com

708.597.5900 x134 



POSTED NOVEMBER 28, 2017 6:00 AM
EMC Insurance: 3 C’s for Safer Sprinkler Systems

Out of sight, out of mind is risky when it comes to sprinkler systems, says EMC Risk Improvement Engineer Kody Daniel. Because sprinklers are silently at the ready in case of an emergency, it’s easy to forget that they need regular TLC. And because there are different types of sprinklers with many interrelated parts, it’s important to understand your system and recognize the components and practices that ensure it will properly protect your building.

Kody shares some basic (and important) points with these 3 C’s for keeping sprinkler systems safe, primed and ready for action:

1. Check your system regularly and schedule weekly, monthly, quarterly and annual inspections. “You need to be proactive in performing checks and maintaining your system,” Kody says. “As we work with organizations, we’ve noticed cases where two or three years have gone by since the system and fire extinguishers were last tested, putting the company at risk.” He notes that 6% of sprinkler system failures are due to a lack of maintenance. Because there are many components to check, including valves, alarms, gauges, labels, connections, drains, pumps, piping, hangers and bracing, as well as the actual sprinklers, having a written document to work from is the best way to stay on top of essential testing.

To set up a maintenance routine, Kody recommends using the EMC sprinkler maintenance template as the basis to developing your own program.

2. Control your control valves. While losing track of time and missing routine testing is the biggest problem Kody sees, a second common oversight is in safeguarding control valves. National Fire Protection Association standards (NFPA 25, Inspection, Testing and Maintenance of Water-Based Fire Protection Systems) require that each control valve of an automatic fire sprinkler system be secured. This can be done with a chain and lock, a locked and limited access room or a tamper switch. Kody recommends using at least two of these safeguards. For more information about control valves and securing them, refer to EMC Fact Sheet on Control Valve Safeguarding.

3. Call on others for assistance. Beyond testing and safeguarding, Kody admits that sprinkler systems can be complex with multiple types (wet, dry, pre-action and deluge), a number of components (tamper switches, flow alarms, gauges, hydraulic posting design info, sprinkler heads and more) and the necessity for your system layout to fit your building and operations. You’ll need to work closely with reputable sprinkler companies to explore and choose the best options for your company, then educate yourself and your employees on the system components.

Kody suggests additional resources found on the fire prevention topic page. You’ll find information on alarms, labeling, storage practices, pump testing, pump maintenance and more.

We can actively assist in several ways, including helping with fire pump testing and evaluating the adequacy of your fire sprinkler system in your current building or when planning to remodel or move to a new location. For answers to your questions and for more information please contact us. 

Lucas Zeiler

lucas@zeiler.com

708.597.5900 x651



POSTED NOVEMBER 28, 2017 6:00 AM
New Cars Increasingly Crammed With Distracting Technology

The infotainment technology that automakers are cramming into the dashboard of new vehicles is making drivers take their eyes off the road and hands off the wheel for dangerously long periods of time, an AAA study says.

The study released Thursday is the latest by University of Utah professor David Strayer, who has been examining the impact of infotainment systems on safety for AAA's Foundation for Traffic Safety since 2013. Past studies also identified problems, but Strayer said the "explosion of technology" has made things worse.

Automakers now include more infotainment options to allow drivers to use social media, email and text. The technology is also becoming more complicated to use. Cars used to have a few buttons and knobs. Some vehicles now have as many as 50 buttons on the steering wheel and dashboard that are multi-functional. There are touch screens, voice commands, writing pads, heads-up displays on windshields and mirrors and 3-D computer-generated images.

"It's adding more and more layers of complexity and information at drivers' fingertips without often considering whether it's a good idea to put it at their fingertips," Strayer said. That complexity increases the overall amount of time drivers spend trying to use the systems.

The auto industry says the new systems are better alternatives for drivers than mobile phones and navigation devices that were not designed to be used while driving.

The vehicle-integrated systems "are designed to be used in the driving environment and require driver attention that is comparable to tuning the radio or adjusting climate controls, which have always been considered baseline acceptable behaviors while driving," said Wade Newton, a spokesman for the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers.

But Jake Nelson, AAA's director for traffic safety advocacy and research, said drivers testing all 30 of the 2017 model year cars and light trucks took their eyes off the road and hands off the wheel while using infotainment systems. The test drivers used voice commands, touch screens and other interactive technologies to make calls, send texts, tune the radio or program navigation all while driving.

Clearly automakers haven't worked hard enough to make the systems quick and easy to use, Nelson said. Researchers rated 23 of the 30 vehicles "very high" or "high" in terms of the attention they demanded from drivers. Seven were rated "moderate." None required a low amount of attention to use.

Programming a destination into in-vehicle GPS navigation systems was the most distracting activity, taking drivers an average of 40 seconds to complete the task. At 25 mph (40 kph), a car can travel the length of four football fields during the time it takes to enter a destination. Previous research has shown that drivers who remove their eyes from the road for just two seconds double their risk for a crash.

Under pressure from industry, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration in 2012 issued voluntary safety guidelines to automakers for dashboard technology instead of enforceable safety standards. The guidelines recommend that automakers lock out the ability to program navigation systems while a car is moving. However, the ability to program navigation while driving was available in 12 vehicles in the study.

The guidelines also recommend automakers prevent drivers from texting while driving, but three-quarters of the vehicles tested permit drivers to text while the car is moving. Texting was the second-most distracting task performed by test drivers.

Drivers looked away from the road less when using voice commands, but that safety benefit was offset by the increased amount of time drivers spent interacting with the systems.

AAA said drivers should use infotainment technologies "only for legitimate emergencies or urgent, driving-related purposes." It also urged automakers to block the ability to program navigation systems or send texts while driving. Automakers should also design infotainment systems so that they require no more attention to use than listening to the radio or an audiobook, it said.

Nearly 70 percent of U.S. adults say they want the new technologies in their vehicles, but only 24 percent feel that the technology already works perfectly, according to an opinion survey conducted for AAA.

"Drivers want technology that is safe and easy to use," said Marshall Doney, AAA's president and CEO, "but many of the features added to infotainment systems today have resulted in overly complex and sometimes frustrating user experiences for drivers."

Lucas Zeiler
lucas@zeiler.com
708.597.5900 x651 

Source: https://www.nbcchicago.com/news/national-international/New-Cars-Distracting-Technology-AAA-Study-449554813.html 

 
 


POSTED NOVEMBER 07, 2017 7:30 PM
Those damn Ice Dams

I know we have sent you this topic before - but those damn ice dams cause MAJOR issues for my customers every year. 

A common claim occurring in the winter months is ice damming and with a little loss control - the potential of this happening to you is minimized.

This might be a good weekend to clean those gutters, if you haven't done so already. 

Ice Damming: These 'dams' are just that, they are blockages of ice that can form just about anywhere on your roof and they prevent water from flowing off your roof. This water then begins to back up beneath your shingles.

Ice damming causes damage to drywall, wall paper, trim and even flooring. I have had a claim where the water traveled down some electrical conduit to a dining room light fixture.  The water proceeded to drip onto a $10,000 dining room table.  The homeowner was out of town for a few days and needless to say - the table was destroyed.

Sometimes the entry of water into your home comes in behind the drywall and is not apparent - at least not until there's a major mold issue!

 

Call with questions.

Dan

dan@zeiler.com 

708.597.5900 x134



POSTED NOVEMBER 07, 2017 7:26 PM

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