Posts

Millions of Americans will be traveling this holiday season, and if it’s anything like previous years, a lot of that travel will be on the road. Last year, AAA estimated that more than 100 million Americans were planning a trip of more than 50 miles during the holidays and that was just between Dec. 23 and Jan. 1.

Of course, winter weather creates a unique set of challenges on local roadways, too. So even if you’re not headed out of town, these safety tips can help you make it through the season safely.

Make sure your car is ready

Before winter arrives, and before any long trip, give your car a thorough check-up. Do wipers need to be replaced? Are your fluid levels where they should be? How are the radiator and cooling system?

If you live in an area (or visit one often) where temperatures regularly drop below 45 degrees, it’s a good idea to get a set of winter tires-they’re better suited for the cold than all-season tires, because they’re designed to provide the best traction and handling in ice and snow. Whatever you’re driving on, however, make sure your tires are inflated properly and that they have enough tread.

Your car should have an emergency kit, too. Pack it with jumper cables, blankets, a first-aid kit, flares, food and water, a flashlight, and other safety gear. A shovel and cat litter or sand are nice to have as well; they can provide traction should you get stuck.

Before you leave

If you’re going on a trip, make sure you check weather conditions along your route and take printed maps-you might not always have cell reception. Let someone know your itinerary so that if you don’t arrive on time, officials know where to look for you.

Every time you drive somewhere, even if it’s just a quick trip to the store, clear snow and ice off your car; it can be a hazard to other drivers. And don’t forget to clear your headlights and other lights.

When you’re on the road

Are roads snowy or icy? Take it slow. Take it slow. Take it slow. Give yourself extra time to get to your destination, and make sure you leave extra room between your vehicle and others. Watch for ice patches on bridges, overpasses, and shady spots. And remember, having four-wheel or all-wheel drive does not mean your car will stop (or steer) better on ice.

If you’re caught in a storm that seems like it’s too much for you to handle, seek refuge as soon as you can. Sometimes it’s best not to drive in snow and ice at all if it looks bad out there, stay home if possible.

If your vehicle becomes disabled or you get in an accident

Car trouble and accidents affect thousands of people every winter. If your vehicle is disabled, be sure to stay with it. Run your engine and heater for short intervals, and open one of your windows slightly to prevent carbon monoxide build-up. Light two flares (remember that vehicle emergency kit? Now’s the time to use it) and place one a safe distance from both the front and rear of your vehicle. Note your location with mileposts, exit numbers or cross streets and call the authorities or a tow truck.

If you’re in a crash, be careful-the aftermath of a car accident can be dangerous, especially in winter when visibility might be reduced and conditions might be slick. Check everyone involved for injuries and call 911 if necessary. After minor accidents, have everyone pull well off the road. Put out flares and turn on your hazard lights.

When you can’t move your car, stay inside unless traffic is completely clear. It’s far better for another vehicle to hit your car, even with you in it, than to hit you directly.

Wherever you may be headed this winter, we hope you enjoy the season with friends and family. Here’s to a healthy and happy holiday!

Source: https://www.safeco.com/blog/safe-winter-driving

winter driving

Icy weather can create challenging, and potentially dangerous, driving conditions in the winter months. Black ice forms on roadways and can produce a nearly invisible hazard. As temperatures approach freezing, icy conditions can develop, especially on roadways where elevation is higher, and bridges and overpasses. Adjusting your driving behavior for these conditions can help keep you, and others around you, safe on the road this winter.

Recognize Local Forecast

Changing winter weather can present hazards for drivers unaware of the local weather forecast. Knowing when ice may be present is an important first step. If you plan to drive in an area where snow or ice may be possible, check conditions in advance. You can sign up for weather alerts to receive text messages and optional alerts for your area. Just make sure not to use your smartphone while driving, as you will want your full concentration on the road.

Be Aware of Other Drivers

Even if you know the area and are familiar with driving on icy roads, other drivers may not be as experienced or aware of potential dangers. It’s important to increase your following distance to compensate for the increased stopping time it can take for you and other drivers to stop on slick surfaces. Be aware that larger vehicles, such as tractor-trailers, may require even longer to stop in adverse weather conditions.

Practice Caution in All Vehicle Types

While four-wheel drive, all-wheel drive, Electronic Stability Control and other safety features can help you to drive more safely in the snow and ice, they may not be able to help drivers to safely drive at regular speed limits during snowy, slushy or icy conditions. The National Safety Council recommends a three-second following distance during ideal road and weather conditions, and suggests slowing down and increasing following distances during adverse weather conditions or when visibility is reduced. Depending on your vehicle and where you live, you may want to consider whether snow tires are necessary in the winter months.

Expect Changing Road Conditions

Even the day after a storm, road conditions can remain challenging as road crews work to clear snow and ice. The roads may be clear in one area and icy in another due to elevation, road treatment and other factors. Freezing and melting precipitation can create new dangers overnight. As air temperatures rise above 32 degrees, roadways may retain pockets of ice that can be dangerous to drivers.

Know Where to Stop Safely

Deciding to stay home or to get off the roads when conditions turn icy can be a smart safety decision. Make sure that you choose a safe spot to wait for conditions to improve. Rest stops and parking lots are generally safer than the side of the road, where limited visibility may create hazards from snowplows and other traffic.

Encourage Safe Driving

If you have friends or family planning to travel during the winter months, offer them a chance to opt-out of travel if conditions appear hazardous. For parents of newer drivers, consider creating rules about driving in snow and ice, and talk with your teens about the importance of changing their driving behavior during the winter months.

Icy conditions may present challenges for drivers, but there are steps that you can take to stay safer and to anticipate potential hazards. Know the local weather forecast, slow your speed, increase your following distance, allow yourself extra travel time and be prepared for unexpected icy conditions on the road. Just like other people’s driving, winter weather can be unpredictable.

But even the safest, most experienced drivers can get into an accident. That’s why it’s important to have the right insurance to protect you and your vehicle. At A.C. Marmo & Sons, Inc., your road safety is very important to us. Call us at 973-340-9100 or visit our website at https://www.acmarmo.com/ to discuss your auto insurance needs.

Source: https://www.travelers.com/resources/auto/safe-driving/how-to-drive-in-icy-conditions

animals-dog-cat-crop

The holidays are filled with joy, laughter and time spent with family and friends. In the bustle of the season, however, it’s easy to forget these festivities aren’t always pet friendly. We at A.C. Marmo & Sons, Inc. know how important our pets can be to the whole family. Here are some reminders to keep your furry friends out of the vet clinic this holiday season, and visit us at https://www.acmarmo.com/ to consider us for your pet insurance needs.

When Decorating

Many traditional holiday decorations can be toxic to your pets. Plants that are typically used such as poinsettias, lilies, ivy, pine, and mistletoe can cause harm to your pets. Christmas trees can also be dangerous. Prevent your dogs or cats from chewing on limbs or pine needle droppings from the tree. Ingested pine needles could get lodged in the intestinal tract, puncturing the lining or bunching together and causing an intestinal obstruction. When decorating the tree, position your tree’s lights and tinsel draping away from the bottom of the tree where pets can get to them. The water base of a Christmas tree contains dangerous chemicals that could harm your pet. Don’t leave candles unattended. Pets may burn themselves, or accidentally knock them over and spill wax or start a fire.

Having Guests

Spending time with family and friends is part of the holiday fun. However; if you have guests coming in and out of your home this may be stressful to pets. Though the excitement of a party may overwhelm some pets, keep your pets inside during cold weather and provide plenty of toys to keep them busy. If needed, provide your cat or dog with a quiet room or crate during holiday parties and/or prepare ahead of time to discourage barking. Inform your visitors ahead of time that you have a pet.

Dinner Time

Holiday meals are a crowd favorite. Many guests may be tempted to share the goodies with your pets. Verify with them what is and is not safe for pets before they do. If your pets will be partaking in your dinner festivities, only share pet safe foods. Foods your pet can safely eat include: pumpkin, green beans, peas, carrots, apples (never the core or seeds), spinach, winter squash, corn (no cobs, as they can cause intestinal blockage), melon, berries, and bananas. Bones should not be given because they easily splinter and can cause serious health problems (even death) for your pet. Chocolate—which is toxic to dogs, cats and ferrets—and any candy containing the toxic sweetener Xylitol should be avoided. Keep foods containing citric acid away from your pets. Foods such as cherry pits, peach pits and apple seeds contain essential oils that have the ability to cause irritations and even central nervous system depression if a significant amount is ingested. Coffee grounds, beans and chocolate-covered espresso beans should be kept out of reach. Raw eggs, grapes and raisons, nuts, onions, and salt should also be kept out of your pet’s food dish.

We hope these tips can help you and your pets have a great holiday season. Visit us at https://www.acmarmo.com/ to view our pet insurance options for peace of mind with your pets safety all year round. Warm wishes from all of us at A.C. Marmo & Sons, Inc.

Sources: https://www.humanesociety.org/resources/holiday-safety-tips-pets and https://www.purina.com/articles/dog/care/5-holiday-safety-tips-for-pets and https://www.billingsanimalfamilyhospital.com/holiday-food-for-pets/

Thanksgiving-Feast

Thanksgiving is a time to gather around the dinner table in the company of family and friends and be thankful for all that you have. Thanksgiving is the peak day for home cooking fires, with unattended cooking as the leading contributing factor. Keep your holiday full of laughter and fun by following these safety tips.

  1. Stay in the kitchen when cooking on the stove top.
  2. Stay at home when cooking your turkey and check it frequently.
  3. Keep children at least 3 feet away from the hot stove.
  4. Heat cooking oil slowly and watch it closely; it can ignite quickly!
  5. Keep a lid nearby to smother small grease fires. NEVER throw water on a grease fire!
  6. Always use turkey fryers outdoors and on level ground.

In 2017 the U.S. fire department responded to an estimated 1,600 cooking fires on Thanksgiving. Keeping fire safety top of mind in the kitchen during the holiday will keep you from having a Thanksgiving disaster! A.C. Marmo & Sons, Inc. hopes you and your family have a safe and joyous Thanksgiving!

Sources:
https://www.nfpa.org/Public-Education/Fire-causes-and-risks/Seasonal-fire-causes/Thanksgiving
https://www.dhs.gov/blog/2010/11/24/thanksgiving-safety-tips-us-fire-administration-usfa