Tag Archives: fender benders

Snow removal

Thousands of homeowners seek repair damage after New England’s epic winter. In Boston alone successive storms dumped 110 inches of snow which is a record for an entire season. Governors across the six state region have requested federal disaster relief to help state and local governments pay for snow removal and other costs. These requests do not cover home or private property damage.

With such high volumes of Boston area claims, insurance companies need more time to process and finalise payments. Another problem may be finding contractors to do the repairs.   They are in high demand now.

Some property owners are expecting to have to pay for some of the repairs themselves. Since the first winter storm hit Boston at the end of January, the city has removed over 10, 000 truckloads of snow after a record six feet of snow fell in the last 30 days. This broke a previous record of 58.5 inches, set in 1978.

Liberty Mutual could not share the number of claims they received as a result of the winter storms.  Glenn Greenberg, director of media relations at the insurer, said the company assigned dozens of claims adjusters in the field to assist customers.

Many adjusters came in from other parts of the country to help expedite the claims process.  The insurer had several more adjusters ready to come to the region should claims volumes increase. A majority of these claims are water damage from ice dams and collapses.

Boston Public Works Department crews have continued to work around the clock to remove the record amount of snow. According to the Mayor’s Offices the snowiest month long period on record has kept the PWD busy – 244, 064 miles of roadway have been plowed in 136, 652 hours and 70, 051 tons of salt have been used.

Reportedly 6, 000 of the 10, 000 truckloads of snow have been melted to increase capacity at the city’s snow farms. The Tide Street site has been melted to 50 percent capacity.  The Reservation Road site is at 10 percent capacity.

Total economic damages and losses as a result of U. S. winter storms during the month of January were estimated at $500 million.

Winter storms caused an estimated $2.3 billion in insured losses in the U. S. in 2014, up from R1.9 billion in 2013. From 1994 – 2013 winter storms resulted in about $27 million in U. S. insured catastrophe losses. Deland, Gibson Insurance Associates, an independent insurance agency in Wellesley Hills, Massachusetts, said the agency has seen a noticeable uptick in claims.

A lot of the claims are property damage related to ice dams. In addition his agency also received a couple of claims for roof collapses due to snow and ice. While the majority of those claims are roofs and ice dams, there have also been a number of fender bender claims.

The roadways are a lot narrower because of the snows and the snow piles are a lot bigger so its more difficult to see around corners. People are getting into little fender benders as well.
The widths of the roadway have narrowed considerably. There is nowhere to put the snow, so the snow is falling back on the roadways.  This makes the two-lane road a one-lane road. The snowbanks are also hard. You could bounce off of it into oncoming traffic. Also people are not taking enough precaution when they are making right or left turns on the roadway with high snowbanks.

Quite a few claims are claims enquiries on ice dams, where water is leaking into people’s houses. The Arbella Insurance Group is seeing a high volume of three types of claims. The first type and the most significant are ice dams. There are also a number of frozen pipe and water damage claims and then finally, are roof collapses.

Interior or exterior damage caused by an ice dam on your roof is typically covered by standard homeowner’s insurance policies. However, most policies will not cover ice dam or snow removal from your roof or anywhere else on your property.

The best way to deal with ice dams is to physically remove them from your roof. Hire a crew to do this job.

Try to remove snow from the roof, but only if it can be done safely. There is an amazing new type of roof rake called a Roof Razer.
Chisel grooves into the dam to allow the water behind it to drain off.
Fill an old pair of your wife’s panyhose with calcium chloride snow melt and lay it across the dam. It will help to melt the dam and also keep that area of the roof clear. DO NOT USE ROCK SALT. It will stain the roof and siding. It is best for small dams and prevention. In addition it is also a good idea to scrape the snow off the roof first.
Furthermore, there are also ice melting pucks which you can purchase from Home Depot.

Highway Safety Part 1

The number of people killed in motor vehicle crashes has been falling, according to a report by The National Highway Safety Administration in the United States. The annual tolls for 2010, 2011 and 2012 were the lowest recorded since 1975, when the U. S. Department of Transportation began collecting detailed fatality data.

Airbags:

Airbags are one of the most important safety innovations of recent decades. The devices are normally hidden from view but inflate instantly when a crash begins. Thanks to the advocacy of IIHS and others, frontal airbags have been required in all new passenger vehicles since the 1999 model year. Side airbags are not specifically mandated, but nearly all manufacturers include them as standard equipment in order to meet federal side protection requirements.

Frontal airbags reduce driver fatalities in frontal crashes by 29 percent and fatalities of front-seat passengers age 13 and older by 32 percent. Side airbags that protect the head reduce a car driver’s risk of death in driver-side crashes by 37 percent and an SUV driver’s risk by 52 percent.

Some vehicles now have rear-window curtain airbags to protect people in back seats or front-center airbags to keep drivers and front-seat passengers from hitting each other in a crash. There are also inflatable safety belts aimed at reducing rear-seat injuries.

Researchers have determined that the risk zone for driver airbags is the first 2 to 3 inches of inflation. So, placing yourself 10 inches from your driver airbag gives you a clear margin of safety. Measure this distance from the center of the steering wheel to your breastbone. The rules for children are different. An airbag can seriously injure an unbuckled child who is sitting too close to it or is thrown toward the dash during emergency braking.

Alcohol-impaired driving:

About a third of all drivers who die in road accidents in the U. S. have blood alcohol levels of 0.08 percent or more. Approximately 7, 000 deaths could have been prevented in 2012 if all drivers were below the legal limit. The key to reducing alcohol related driving and therefore promoting highway safety is disincentive. Preventative steps include:

Administrative licence suspension: In most states, this allows the police to deprive a person of his/her licence who fails or refuses to be tested for alcohol levels.

Sobriety checkpoints: Checkpoints which have been upheld by the U. S. Supreme Court, although not always resulting in arrests, do serve as a deterrent to driving under the influence of alcohol.

Minimum drinking age of 21: Setting 21 as the minimum legal age for buying alcohol has helped to reduce drunk driving among teenagers.

Alcohol interlocks: An ignition interlock device is a mechanism installed on a motor vehicle’s dashboard. Should the driver’s breath sample not meet minimum alcohol guidelines, there is an interruption in the signal from the ignition to the starter. Many states require these devices for people with previous records of dui convictions.

Bumpers:

Bumpers are supposed to limit damage in minor collisions, but many are ineffective. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has a bumper test evaluation program to assess how well bumpers resist damage in fender benders. Better bumpers mean less out-of-pocket costs for consumers and lower insurance costs.

Child Safety:

Children are much safer in vehicle accidents than they used to be. Appropriate child safety seats provide significantly more protection in an auto accident than safety belts alone.
All infants and toddlers should ride rear-facing until they are 2 years old or until they reach the height and weight limit of their child restraints.
Once they outgrow rear-facing restraints, children should ride in harness-equipped forward-facing restraints for as long as possible, up to the height and weight limit of the child restraint. Top tethers should be used whenever a child restraint is installed forward-facing.
When children outgrow child restraints, they should use belt-positioning booster seats until adult safety belts fit properly.

U.S. Regulators plan to require automakers to equip new cars and trucks with technology that allows vehicles to communicate with each other to avoid crashes. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx sent a signal to the auto industry that the Obama administration is intent on pushing ahead with so-called vehicle-to-vehicle crash avoidance systems.

Currently many new vehicles offer advanced crash avoidance features. These include front crash prevention, lane departure warning, blind spot detection, adaptive headlights and park assist and backover prevention.

Distracted driving:

Regulatory laws in the United States have placed numerous restrictions on cell phone use by drivers. Individual States have jurisdictional discretion over the use of cell phones and other hand-held devices used by drivers on their roads.

The laws regulating driving may be subject to primary enforcement or secondary enforcement by state, country or local authorities. All state-level cell phone use laws in the United States are of the primary enforcement type, meaning an officer may cite a driver for a cell phone use violation if the driver has committed another primary violation (such as speeding, failure to stop, etc.,) at the same time.

A federal transportation funding law passed in July 2012 known as the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act provided $17.5 million in grants during fiscal year 2013 for states with primary enforcement laws against distracted driving, including laws prohibiting cell phone use while driving. States with secondary enforcement laws or no laws at all are ineligible to receive this grant funding.

Event Data Recorders:

An event data recorder, or EDR, collects information from a vehicle just before and during most serious crashes. Crash investigators can download data from the EDR’s memory to help them better understand what happened to the vehicle and how the safety systems performed, and in some cases, help determine who’s at fault in the crash. Most EDRs are built into a vehicle’s airbag control module and record information about airbags deployment, vehicle speed, engine throttle and driver safety belt use.

EDRs are not required by law, but many vehicles have them. In December of 2012, the National Highway Safety Administration proposed a rule requiring the devices in all 2015 and later models. An estimated 92 percent of new passenger vehicles already have them. Under an earlier rule, EDRs in 2013 and later models must record specific data in a standard format to make the retrieving of information easier.