Tag Archives: Safety

Swimming Pool Safety


Image courtesy of tungphoto | Freedigitalphotos.net
Image courtesy of tungphoto | Freedigitalphotos.net

Swimming pools often draw in the neighborhood kids for good times to be shared by all. However, incidents can happen quickly. Therefore, it is important for pool owners to know how to handle and address safety concerns to prevent any accidents from occurring. After all, pool owners are liable for everything that happens on their property, whether they are present or not.


Our friends at Pioneer State Mutual Insurance Company wrote an article providing a couple of safety tips all pool owners should know. Read their article here and be better informed on how to minimize your risk for liability issues this summer around the pool.


If there is an aquatic emergency in your pool this summer, do you know how to respond? The next seconds are critical to preventing disability or death. The American Red Cross offers instruction on what to do in the event of an aquatic emergency.

Get to know these steps to prepare yourself for an aquatic emergency. Infographic courtesy of the American Red Cross.
Get to know these steps to prepare yourself for an aquatic emergency. Infographic courtesy of the American Red Cross.


Bicycle Safety and Insurance


iii LOGO_RGBx300This article was provided by the Insurance Information Institute to address the importance of insuring your bicycle properly.



Bicycling is increasingly popular, both as a sport and as a means of transportation. And bicycles can cost anywhere from several hundred dollars for a basic bike, to thousands of dollars for specialized racing bikes. Whether you use your bicycle to commute to work or school, or simply like to cycle around the block with your children, it is important to understand the rules of the road and protect your financial investment with the proper insurance.


Bicycles are covered under the personal property section of standard homeowners and renters insurance policies. This coverage will reimburse you, minus your deductible, if your bike is stolen or damaged in a fire, hurricane or other disaster listed in your policy.


If you are purchasing a new bike, keep the receipt and call your insurance agent or company representative immediately. If you own a particularly expensive bicycle, you may want to consider getting an endorsement that will provide additional coverage. Your insurance agent or company representative can review your coverage options with you.


There are two types of coverage for personal property:

1. Actual Cash Value – reimburses you for what the bicycle is actually worth given its age. A 10-year-old bicycle, for example, would be valued at the cost of a comparable bicycle minus 10 years depreciation.

2. Replacement Cost Coverage – reimburses you for what it would cost to replace your 10-year-old bicycle with one of like and quality at current cost. Replacement cost coverage costs about 10 percent more than actual cash value, but it is a good investment.

Homeowners and renters insurance policies also provide liability protection for harm you may cause to someone else or their property. If you injure someone in a bicycle accident and he or she decides to sue, you will be covered up to the limits of your policy. Your homeowners or renters insurance also includes no-fault medical coverage in the event you injure someone. This coverage usually ranges from $1,000 to $5,000. Check with your agent to review how much coverage you have, and adjust the limits as necessary.


To make filing a claim easier, the Insurance Information Institute suggests the following:

1. Save your receipts

When you buy your bicycle you may also purchase expensive equipment to go with it, so make sure to save your receipts for everything. The cost of a helmet, patch kits, pumps, extra inner tubes and other essentials, not to mention that fancy new bike jersey, can add up quickly. If your bike and related items are stolen or destroyed, having receipts can help speed the claims process.

2. Add your bicycle and related items to your home inventory

Everyone should have an up-to-date home inventory of all their personal possessions. An inventory can help you purchase the correct amount of insurance and make the claims filing process easier if there is a loss. To help you create your inventory, the Insurance Information Institute provides free, online software at KnowYourStuff.org.

Of course the best protection of all is to keep your bike safe; to help avoid theft, follow these simple rules:

1. Always lock up your bike, even if it is in your garage, an apartment stairwell, or a college dormitory.

2. Lock your bicycle to a fixed, immovable object like a parking meter or permanent bike rack. Be careful not to lock it to items that can easily be cut, broken or removed, and that the bike cannot be lifted over the top of the object to which it is locked.

3. Lock up your bicycle in a visible, well-lit area.

4. Consider using a U-lock and position the bike frame and wheels so that they take up as much of the open space within the U-portion of the lock as possible. The tighter the lock-up, the harder it is for a thief to use tools to attack the lock. Always position a U-lock so that the keyway is facing down towards the ground. Do not position the lock close to the ground as this makes it easier for a thief to break it.

5. Do not lock up your bicycle in the same location all the time. A thief may notice the pattern and target you.

6. Consider registering your bike with the National Bike Registry.


It is even more important to keep yourself and your family safe while you are riding. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration suggests that cyclists follow these seven rules:

1. Protect Your Head – Never ride a bike without a properly fitted helmet.

Watch this short video on the proper way to fit a helmet

2. Assure Bicycle Readiness – Ride a bike that fits you and check all parts of the bicycle to make sure they are secure and working well.

3. Learn and Follow the Rules of the Road – Bicycles are considered vehicles on the road; therefore riders must follow the same traffic laws as drivers of motor vehicles.

4. Act Like a Driver of a Motor Vehicle – Always ride with the flow of traffic, on the right side of the road, and as far to the right of the road as is practicable and safe.

5. Be Visible – Always assume you are not seen by others and take responsibility for making yourself visible to motorists, pedestrians and other cyclists.

6. “Drive with Care” – When you ride, consider yourself the driver of a vehicle and always keep safety in mind. Ride in the bike lane, if available. Take extra care when riding on a roadway. Courtesy and predictability are key to safe cycling.

7. Stay Focused. Stay Alert. – Never wear headphones as they hinder your ability to hear traffic. Be aware of your surroundings and ride defensively.

May is Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month




‘Share the Road’ Campaign Highlights Mutual Safety Responsibilities of all Highway Users


Wayland, MI – In recognition of May as Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month, the Reno Agency reminds motorists and motorcyclists alike to “share the road” conscientiously and courteously to help prevent motorcycle crashes which remain one of the most prevalent causes of death and injury on West Michigan roads.


In addition to stressing the mutual responsibilities shared by all users of the road to prevent motorcycle crashes, Mike Salisbury said the safety campaign– initiated by the Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), state and local safety officials nationwide, and motorcycle safety groups everywhere– will also have increased enforcement by local police  throughout May to make sure  motorcyclists, and drivers of all types of vehicles, are obeying state and local laws.


“Safety is a mutual responsibility for motorists and motorcyclists alike,” said Salisbury.  “Motorcyclists are about 30 times more likely to die in a crash than passenger vehicle occupants, so whether you are driving the family sedan, an SUV, a school bus, a delivery van, or an 18-wheeler, drivers should always be on the lookout for motorcyclists. Drivers must be aware that a motorcycle, as one of the smallest of vehicles on the road, can be ‘hiding’ in your vehicle’s blind spots.  Always check blind spots, use mirrors and signal before changing lanes or making turns.”


He added, “Motorcyclists have responsibilities too.  Riders should obey all traffic laws and be properly licensed, alert to other drivers, conspicuous at all times, never ride impaired or distracted, and always wear a Department of Transportation-compliant helmet and other protective gear.”


This safety advice is particularly timely as motorcycle fatalities in 2011 showed a continued increase to 4,612. Motorcycle fatalities accounted for 14 percent of total highway deaths for the year despite motorcycle registrations representing only about 3 percent of all vehicles in the U.S..  Salisbury offered the following tips for drivers to help keep motorcyclists safe on our roadways.

– Remember, a motorcycle is a vehicle with all of the rights and privileges of any other motor vehicle. The person under that helmet could be a mother, brother, doctor, or friend;

– Always allow a motorcyclist the full lane width–never try to share a lane;

– Perform a regular visual check for motorcycles by checking mirrors and blind spots before entering or exiting a lane of traffic, and at intersections;

– Always signal your intentions before changing lanes or merging with traffic;

– Don’t be fooled by a flashing turn signal on a motorcycle–motorcycle signals are often not self-canceling and riders sometimes forget to turn them off. Wait to be sure the motorcycle is going to turn before you proceed;

– Allow more following distance–three or four seconds–when behind a motorcycle to give the motorcyclist time to maneuver around obstacles in the roadway, or stop in an emergency;

– Never ride distracted.


Salisbury said motorcyclists can increase their safety by:

– Wearing a DOT-compliant helmet;

-Using turn signals for every turn or lane change, even if the rider thinks no one will see it;

– Signaling intentions by combining hand signals and turn signals to draw more attention to themselves;

-Wearing brightly colored protective gear, and using reflective tape and stickers to increase conspicuity;

– Positioning themselves in the lane where they will be most visible to other drivers; and

– Never riding while impaired.


“Our message to all drivers and motorcyclists is: Help to share in the responsibility of keeping all road users safe, and do your part by safely sharing the road,” Salisbury concluded.


For additional information on motorcycle safety, click here