This month, we address the importance of keeping yourself healthy, along with tips to avoid accidents and what to do in the event one does occur.

Health is Wealth

Experts agree that maintaining a healthy lifestyle is your best defense against stress.

  • Try to fit at least 20 minutes of aerobic activity into your schedule three to four days a week.
  • Eat well balanced meals – more grains, nuts, fruits, and vegetables.
  • Do your best to get a good night’s sleep every night.
  • Avoid too much caffeine, alcohol, and sugary drinks.
  • Avoid cigarette smoking entirely. Smoking cigarettes not only affects your health, it affects your coordination and concentration. Smoking while driving can cause you to drive unreasonably fast or slow and may cause you to weave in and out of traffic. Smoking and second-hand smoke contribute to lung cancer, heart disease, emphysema, and general poor health. It also contributes to the high cost of health insurance.

Special Industry Related Accidents

  • Taxis should always cruise for a passenger in the extreme right or left lane.
  • Always obey posted bus lane restrictions. Red zone cruising can result in a moving traffic violation.
  • Never speed up to run a red light to respond to a street hail.
  • Always signal when you are changing lanes to respond to a street hail.
  • Always obey the law. If you are not permitted to respond to street hails, the vehicle behind you will not anticipate you making a sudden stop to do so.
  • Always anticipate your passenger making an unannounced abrupt and unsafe exit due to excess traffic conditions.
  • Never eat, drink, or use a tablet or cell phone while your vehicle is in motion.
  • Always read your GPS prior to starting your trip. If you must refer to directions, pull over to a safe area first. (This may not be necessary for voice- active GPS.)
  • Always anticipate inexperienced drivers behaving unsafely. Always be prepared to take defensive and evasive actions in the event you encounter such a driver.
  • Never follow a handsome cab too closely or blow your horn in its vicinity. Horses react erratically to abrupt actions and noises.

In the Event of an Accident, Please Obtain the Following

  • The names of all drivers and passengers involved – plus addresses, license numbers and phone numbers.
  • The vehicle owner’s name, address and phone number – if different from driver.
  • Insurance company names or 3-digit code, policy number, and expiration date.
  • Witness’s names, addresses and phone numbers.
  • The phone number and precinct number of all responding police officers, along with the accident report number.
  • The name, address and phone number of any medical facility anyone involved is taken to from the scene by ambulance.
  • The name, address and phone number of any tow trucks responding to and removing vehicles from the scene.
  • Take pictures of all vehicles involved. Make sure you get the point of impact and all sides of all vehicles involved from all angles. Take photos of any skid marks, traffic signals, and any related factors that may have caused the accident. Take photos of the scene from up close and from a distance. Photograph nearby buildings and stores as witnesses may have witnessed the accident from inside and were unable to come forward at the scene.
  • Under no circumstances should you attempt to settle the accident at the scene by offering to or accepting cash from any involved driver or passenger.
  • If you don’t have it already, please obtain your passengers’ contact information prior to them leaving the scene so they can be contacted on your behalf, if necessary.
Article by Bertram Merling

Bertram Merling is the Loss Control Coordinator for the Hereford Insurance Company.

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