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Baldwin / Welsh & Parker

Heading out for a paddle on a canoe, kayak or standup paddle board? Advance preparation helps to ensure a safe trip. Follow these 12 safety tips to help you enjoy safe paddling: 

Monday, 16 April 2018 16:58

Wedding Insurance - It Really Is A Thing

A wedding can mean a significant investment for couples and their families. According ValuePenguin, the research and analysis company that reports on a variety of personal finance topics, the average cost of a wedding in Massachusetts in 2017 was $39,147.00.

Are you doing everything possible to help protect your wedding investment?

Protect Your Wedding From The Unexpected

Wedding insurance is an effective way to protect your big day from certain unforeseen events.

A hurricane or a bankrupt venue can mean lost deposits and unexpected expenses as couples race to reschedule or find replacement vendors. According to Ed Charlebois, Travelers Vice President of Personal Insurance, wedding insurance provides "a great safeguard to protect your investment, both during and after the wedding.”

From a sudden vendor cancellation to damaged photographs or wedding apparel, wedding insurance protects your wedding day and provides peace of mind.

Distracted Driving Is Getting Worse - Learn What You Can Do To Make The Roads Safer

Today it is easier than ever to become distracted behind the wheel. New technology allows us to make phone calls, dictate texts or emails, and update social media while driving - all actions that are proven to increase crash risk. As a result, thousands are killed every year due to distracted driving.

According to 2016 statistics, the National Safety Council (NSC) estimates as many as 40,000 people died on U.S. roadways, a 6% increase over 2015 statistics and 14% over 2014 -- the most dramatic two-year increase in 53 years.

This month, several organizations, including the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the National Safety Council (NSC), are promoting safety campaigns that encourage drivers to focus on the task of safe, undistracted driving.

 

What Is Distracted Driving?

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), distracted driving is any activity that diverts attention from driving, including talking or texting on your phone, eating and drinking, talking to people in your vehicle, fiddling with the stereo, entertainment or navigation system—anything that takes your attention away from the task of safe driving.Texting is the most alarming distraction. Sending or reading a text takes your eyes off the road for 5 seconds. At 55 mph, that's like driving the length of an entire football field with your eyes closed.You cannot drive safely unless the task of driving has your full attention. Any non-driving activity you engage in is a potential distraction and increases your risk of crashing.

 

3 Types Of Driving Distractions

There are three main types of distractions while driving:

  1. Visual: taking your eyes off the road
  2. Manual: taking your hands off the wheel
  3. Cognitive: taking your mind off of driving

Texting while driving is especially dangerous because it combines all three types of distraction. Furthermore, sending or reading a text message takes your eyes off the road for about five seconds, long enough to cover a football field while driving at 55 mph.

Thursday, 22 March 2018 16:38

Best & Worst Driving States

Traffic conjestion and safety are the main concerns for all drivers. Although the U.S. has fairly good road infrastructure, it's not consistent throughout the country. In fact, the World Economics Forum places the U.S. at rank 13 of 138 when it comes to road quality.

To identify the states with the most positive driving experiences, WalletHub compared all 50 states across 23 key indicators of a positive commute. Their data set ranges from average gas prices to share of rush-hour traffic congestion to road quality. Read the results, additional commentary from a panel of experts, and a full description of their methodology.

 

Source: WalletHub 
Tuesday, 27 February 2018 15:38

Change Your Security Question Answers Now

The Password Security Answers You Should Not Use

Protect Your Identity and Account Logins

In 2008, a 20-year-old college student hacked the Yahoo! email account for then vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin because he was able to figure out the answers to her password security questions by using Google searches to find her ZIP code, birthdate, and where she met her husband. Today, with so much of our personal information available on social media, strong passwords are no longer enough to divert hackers because many common security questions are not as secure as they once were. 

Hackers Can Easily Learn About Your Online

In addition to using search engines to research information about you, hackers can easily find answers to some of the most common security questions by analyzing your social media profiles. Standard security questions no longer truly help to keep your account safe when the answers can be easily found online.

The Importance of Ladder Safety

March is Ladder Safety Month 

You need to use a ladder for some household jobs, such as cleaning the leaves out of your gutters or touching up the paint on your exterior trim. However, if you reach just a little too far, you may suddenly find yourself on the ground! A fall from a ladder can cause major injuries, some of which can be fatal.

Wednesday, 21 February 2018 00:22

Beware of IRS Taxpayer Scams

The Latest Scam Alert: Scams Targeting Taxpayers

The IRS Urges Taxpayers to Watch Out for Erroneous Refunds; Beware of Fake Calls to Return Money to a Collection Agency

On February 2nd, the Internal Revenue Service warned taxpayers of a quickly growing scam involving erroneous tax refunds being deposited into their bank accounts. The IRS also offered a step-by-step explanation for how to return the funds and avoid being scammed.

Following up on a Security Summit alert, the IRS issued this additional warning about the new scheme after discovering more tax practitioners’ computer files have been breached. In addition, the number of potential taxpayer victims jumped from a few hundred to several thousand in just days. The IRS Criminal Investigation Division continues its investigation into the scope and breadth of this scheme. These criminals have a new twist on an old scam. After stealing client data from tax professionals and filing fraudulent tax returns, these criminals use the taxpayers' real bank accounts for the deposit. Thieves are then using various tactics to reclaim the refund from the taxpayers, and their versions of the scam may continue to evolve.

See IR-2018-27

Know How to Identify IRS Scams

According to the IRS, taxpayers have lost millions of dollars as well as their personal information due to tax scams. And no one is truly safe if they are unaware of what scammers can do. Scammers are quite clever at using postal mail, telephone (both landlines and cell numbers), or email to prey upon individuals, businesses, payroll, and tax professionals.

Wednesday, 14 February 2018 17:31

Don’t Get Scammed Online for Valentine’s Day

Valentine’s Day is today, February 14. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) offers tips for protecting yourself online before, during and after the “day of love”:

  • Be wary of "too good to be true" deals. Free flower bouquet offers, all-expense paid trips, free gift cards – if a deal sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Slow down and think twice before clicking on such deals, especially around holidays.
  • Recognize an online dating scam artist. Online dating is more popular than ever. Look for signs that your suitor may be only interested in your money – if they press you to leave the dating website you met through and to communicate using personal e-mail or instant messaging, profess instant feelings of love, or ask for money for a variety of suspicious reasons.
  • Protect yourself and your personal information. Limit the amount of personal information you post online and use privacy settings to avoid sharing information widely. Be careful of where and when you choose to meet someone you’ve met online. Pick public places, let others know where you are going beforehand, and be cautious of what personal information you provide about yourself early on in a date.

Be aware, be prepared. Happy Valentine's Day!

Wednesday, 31 January 2018 19:51

Common Exposures of Ride-sharing Apps

Ever since the first ride-sharing app debuted in 2011, they’ve experienced exponential growth in usage. In fact, in the cities where such apps have joined the market, taxi ridership has declined anywhere from 10 to 30 percent. However, while the popularity of ride-sharing apps is increasing, so is the host of risks associated with using them. Most of the companies are in the stages of infancy, and the situations they’re facing are in uncharted territory.

How Ride-sharing Apps Work

While they’re most commonly referred to as ride-sharing apps, any company that uses an online platform to connect passengers with drivers (using the driver’s own vehicle) is called a transportation network company (TNC). These companies each have their own unique differences, but they all operate under the same basic concept.
Through their smartphones, passengers are matched with available drivers via GPS. Most apps display the driver’s route and estimated time of arrival, in addition to the driver’s name, photo and vehicle information. The TNC gets a cut of the fare, typically between 20 to 25 percent, for each ride a driver completes.

The apps are convenient for passengers and for drivers looking to supplement their income. Still, they’re not without flaws. For example, it can be difficult to determine what regulations the TNC and its drivers need to follow, what insurance coverages apply to them and who is considered liable in the event of an accident.

Tuesday, 30 January 2018 23:48

Safe Driving: Look Ahead, Scan The Roads

Safe Driving Advice from Massachusetts Traffic Safety Coalition

Scanning the road ahead prepares you for hazards in advance. Try to avoid only staring at the pavement directly in front of your vehicle when traveling. Instead, spend more time focused 10-15 seconds down the road and let your peripheral vision pick up any issues immediately in front of you. By focusing further ahead you give yourself an opportunity to react to future emergencies like disabled cars, sudden braking ahead or even a pedestrian about to approach a crosswalk.

It may feel natural to want to focus on what is immediately in front of you, but it’s far safer to keep your eyes on what lies ahead. At 50 MPH you should try to scan ½ mile to a full mile down the road. This will alert you of upcoming issues and help your navigate safely before it’s too late for you to react. With practice, it will be easier and will keep you and your passengers much safer in the process. #MARoadSafety

Source: Massachusetts Road Safety

 

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