Night Driving Dangers

A little extra caution can go a long way while driving at night

Summer has ended, and while fall and winter have their own pleasures — including camp fires— longer nights mean increased danger on the roads.

You might think you drive just as well at night, but consider this: Even though nighttime driving accounts for just 23% of vehicle miles traveled, more than 50% of fatalities for vehicle occupants 16 and older occur between 6 p.m. and 6 a.m., according to the National Safety Commission (NSC).

Because we’re big advocates for safety at WWW, we thought it would be helpful to take a look at why night driving is more dangerous, and what you can do to decrease that danger.

What’s dangerous about night driving?

  1. Decreased vision. We won’t go into all the biological details, but different parts of the eye (such as iris, pupil and retina) work differently at night. Your peripheral vision is actually slightly improved, but it’s more difficult to focus on objects ahead of you. And traveling between well-lit areas and darker roads creates issues as well.
  2. Driving too fast for your headlights. Depending on vehicle speed and headlight setting, many people “over-drive” their headlights. That means, by the time they see something on the road, it’s too late to stop in time to avoid it.
  3. Impaired judgment. Whether due to drowsiness or the use of alcohol or drugs, it appears that drivers at night often don’t use good judgment. According to the NSC, 66% of fatalities at night involve vehicle occupants who weren’t wearing seat belts.

So what do you do?

Sometimes, there’s no way around driving at night. So here are some tips to help you make a safe trip — whether you’re just running to the store, or you’re headed across town.

  1. Make sure your vehicle’s lights are in good working condition. And not just headlights, but turn signals, taillights, etc.
  2. Avoid speeding. Leave a bigger cushion between you and other cars than you would during daylight hours. Leave yourself more time for the trip.
  3. Be more aware of your surroundings. You shouldn’t be using your phone, messing around with the radio or trying to find something on the floor while you’re on the road anyway — and distractions are even more deadly at night. 

Of course, if you’re not comfortable driving at night, the best thing is to avoid it altogether if possible. There’s nothing wrong with asking for a ride from a trusted safe driver or waiting for the sun to come out!

Contact Us!

 At Wallace Welch & Willingham we can work with you to make sure you’ve got the coverage you need, while at the same time using all possible credits and discounts to make that coverage affordable. Just give us a call at 727-522-7777. We want to help you meet your goals, and make sure what’s important to you is protected!

October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month

breast cancer awareness
Breast cancer typically produces no symptoms when the tumor is small and most treatable. Therefore, it is very important for women to follow recommended screening guidelines for detecting breast cancer at an early stage, before symptoms develop. When breast cancer has grown to a size that can be felt, the most common physical sign is a painless lump.

There is a website, The National Breast Cancer Awareness Month (NBCAM), that is  a collaboration of national public service organizations, professional medical associations, and government agencies working together to promote breast cancer awareness, share information on the disease, and provide greater access to services.

If you or someone you know has been diagnosed with cancer, the American Cancer Society has an abundance of great resources to assist you and your caregiver.   For more than 40 years, the American Cancer Society’s Reach to Recovery program has helped people (female and male) cope with their breast cancer experience. This experience begins when someone is faced with the possibility of a breast cancer diagnosis and continues throughout the entire period that breast cancer remains a personal concern. (http://www.cancer.org/treatment/supportprogramsservices/reach-to-recovery) Image courtesy of http://www.nationalbreastcancer.org/

Wear pink this month in honor of National Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

 

Weight Training has Many Health Benefits

Weight Training has Many Health Benefits

Strength training with resistance bands, barbells, or weight machines will give you results in just after a few sessions. The American Heart Association recommends strength training at least twice a week. Please get approval from your physician before starting any exercise routine.

If you are not sure where to begin, contact a with a fitness professional to learn the right way to do each exercise. Doing each exercise 8 to 12 times is usually enough to work your muscles. Begin with a weight you are comfortable with and increase gradually until your muscles are tired after the 12th repetition.

Two or three 20- or 30-minute weight training sessions every week can result in significant health benefits:

  • Increased muscle mass: Muscle mass naturally decreases with age, but weight training can help reverse the trend.
  • Stronger bones: Strength training increases bone density and reduces the risk of fractures.
  • Joint flexibility: Weight training helps maintain joint flexibility and can reduce the symptoms of arthritis.
  • Weight control: As you gain muscle, your body begins to burn calories more easily, making it easier to control your weight.
  • Balance: Strengthening exercises can increase flexibility and balance as people age, reducing falls and injuries.

Reference: American Cancer Society’s August 2014 Healthy Living Newsletter [news@messages.cancer.org]

Top 10 Boating Safety Tips

Top 10 Boating Safety Tips

1. Always wear a life jacket and insist that your crew and guests do the same. Approximately 77 percent of fatal boating accident victims drowned in 2013.(1) Almost 84 percent of those who drowned were not wearing a life jacket, and 8 out of every 10 boaters who drowned were on vessels less than 21 feet in length. Always have an adequate supply of life jackets aboard. Make sure that children are wearing appropriate life jackets that fit correctly. Drowning was the reported cause of death for approximately 36 percent of the children under the age of 13 who perished in boating accidents in 2013. In cold water areas, life jackets are even more important. Hypothermia is a significant risk factor for injury or even death while boating. Cold water accelerates the onset and progression of hypothermia since body heat can be lost 25 times faster in cold water than in cold air. Boaters can be at risk of hypothermia in warm waters as well, where expected time of survival can be as little as two hours in waters as warm at 60 – 70°F. To learn hypothermia risk factors and how to better your chances of survival, visit http://seagrant.umn.edu/coastal_communities/hypothermia.

2. Never drink alcohol while boating. Alcohol use was again the leading factor in all fatal boating accidents, and in 2013 contributed to 75 fatalities, 16% of recreational boating deaths.(1) Stay sharp on the water by leaving the alcohol on dry land.

3. Take a boating safety course. Only 13% of deaths occurred on boats where the operator had received boating safety instruction from a provider offering a course that meets U.S. Coast Guard-recognized national standards.(1) You may even qualify for a reduced insurance rate if you complete a safety course. Contact your local Coast Guard Auxiliary, U.S. Power Squadron chapter(2) or visit www.uscgboating.org for more information on courses in your area.

4. Stay in control by taking charge of your safety and that of your passengers. Boaters between the ages of 36 and 55 accounted for the highest percentage of boating fatalities (38%) and injuries (39%) than any age group in 2013.(1) With nearly 5,500 vessels involved in accidents in 2013, it is imperative to maintain control of your vessel and your passengers. Don’t forget that safety begins with you.

5. Understand and obey boating safety recommendations and navigational rules. Imagine the mayhem that would result if car drivers disregarded highway traffic laws. In 2013, violations of navigation rules were the leading contributing factor in more than 200 accidents and 15 deaths.(1) Know and understand boating safety procedures
and rules of navigation before taking to the water, and practice them without fail.

To read the full article and see the rest of the list, Click Here.

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Take a Vacation from Work, Not from Your Workout

Take a Vacation from Work, Not from Your WorkoutGoing on vacation? It is good to get away from the grind of a schedule and stress. Use this time to charge up your batteries with daily vacation workouts. Your body will feel more refreshed when you get back. It just takes a little planning and a lot of motivation.

The planning starts when you are packing your suitcase. Don’t forget to pack your running sneakers and your iPod for your music. Download some playlists that will keep you motivated. Also, if you are traveling by plane and you do not have much room in your suitcase you can bring resistance bands (they are available at any Target or sports store). These bands are great for stretching and strength training. While in the airport, don’t sit for hours, get up and walk around the terminals often. Remember you will be sitting for a long plane ride so exercise when you can. Also, check with your hotel to see if they have a fitness center and challenge yourself visit it 30 minutes a day.

If you are not traveling by plane, the staycations are great because you can pack exercise equipment in the car. This could be equipment like yoga mats, kettlebells, push-up bars, pull up bars, stability balls, etc.  Try visiting some parks and nature trails during your staycation. Kayaking, jogging, swimming, and biking are all great summer activities but make sure to hydrate before, during, and after your workouts.

Remember summer is vacation time from work, not your workout!