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Posted by on in Press Release

Keeping Motorcyclists Safe on Wisconsin Roads:
Tips for Auto and Truck Drivers

MADISON, WI (June 11, 2014) – With the warm summer weather, motorcyclists are hitting Wisconsin roads. According to the Motorcycle Safety Foundation, “over half of all fatal motorcycle crashes involve another vehicle. Most of the time, the car or truck driver, not the motorcyclist, is at fault.”

Since a motorcycle has a narrow profile, it can be hidden in a vehicle’s blind spot or masked by outdoor objects. “The size and weight of cars and trucks put the obligation on these drivers to use added safety measures,” says Ron Von Haden, CIC, Executive Vice President of the Professional Insurance Agents of Wisconsin (PIAW). “Take an extra moment to look for motorcycles, whether you're changing lanes, pulling out of a driveway or turning at intersections.”

Following are more tips to ensure everyone on the road is safe.

  • A motorcycle often looks farther away than it is. It may also be difficult to judge a motorcycle’s speed. When checking traffic to turn at an intersection or into or out of a driveway, assume a motorcycle is closer than it looks.
  • Motorcyclists often slow by downshifting or rolling off the throttle, which will not activate the brake light. Allow more following distance for motorcycles, say 3 or 4 seconds. And, at intersections, understand a motorcyclist may slow down without the brake lights on.
  • Stopping distance for motorcycles is nearly the same as for cars, but slippery pavement can make stopping quickly on only two wheels difficult. Again, allow for more following distance behind a motorcycle.
  • Motorcyclists often move position within a lane to be seen more easily and to minimize the impact of road debris, passing vehicles and wind. “Motorcyclists adjust lane positions for a purpose, not to be reckless or show off,” explains Von Haden.
  • Respect motorcycles and treat them the same as other vehicles … for example, allowing the same amount of room on the road.

“The most important rule is to see more than the motorcycle – see the person on the bike who could be your friend, neighbor or relative. This is especially important for young drivers who may be sharing the road with motorcycles for the first time,” notes Von Haden.

Should you become involved in an accident with a motorcycle or any vehicle, follow these steps.

  • Check for injuries; call an ambulance when in doubt.
  • If accident is minor, move cars to a safe place, out of traffic.
  • Make immediate notes about the accident, including specific damages, witness information and take photos with your cell phone. Trade insurance information with the other driver.
  • Call the police, even if the accident is minor. If they do not show up on the scene, go to the nearest police department to file a police report yourself. It can be important to have this document for any claims.
  • Notify your insurance agent immediately. Your local, independent and professional insurance agent can advise you about the next steps you need to take to quickly and fairly process the claim.

“Drive aware of motorcyclists and you can help make the streets and roads safer for everyone,” concludes Von Haden.


Posted by on in Press Release

For further information contact:

Professional Insurance Agents of Wisconsin

ATTN: Ron Von Haden

Phone: (800) 261-7429                                                                                    FOR  IMMEDIATE RELEASE

www.piaw.org                                                                                                 (May 20, 2014)

Travel Tips to Keep Your Family Safe While on Vacation

MADISON, WI (May 20, 2014) – Many Wisconsin families will load up their SUVs and head for well-deserved vacations this summer. While it’s always fun to explore new places, it’s prudent to take some simple steps to help ensure your family’s safety while traveling.

“Before you leave, let family members or friends know where you are going and give them your cell phone numbers and any detailed travel plans,” says Ron Von Haden CIC, Executive Vice President of the Professional Insurance Agents of Wisconsin (PIAW). “If you have kids, bring along an updated photo of each child — in case you become separated from them. Talk with your family about who to call and what to do in an emergency.”

Loading up the car often means packing expensive technology – Smartphones, tablets, navigation systems, personal DVD players, cameras – all items that are easy to grab from a vehicle during a stop. “If you leave your vehicle--even to stretch your legs or enjoy the view--store these items out of sight and lock valuable items in the glove compartment or trunk,” says Von Haden.

 “Most homeowners policies will cover personal property stolen from your vehicle or hotel room, but deductibles will apply. Auto policies cover items attached to the car and, again, deductibles apply,” he adds.

It’s a good idea to keep an emergency road kit in the trunk with jumper cables, flares and other necessities. Also take along a first aid kit, bottled water and nonperishable foods.

When sightseeing or attending public events, store your phone or wallet in a front pocket or a secret pocket. Don’t rummage through your purse/wallet or count money in public. Women should avoid carrying dangling purses, as they can be easy to grab.

If your trip involves air travel, especially with young children, here are some additional pointers.

·         Request bulkhead seats to give your family more room.  Book these seats ahead of time or as soon as you get to the airport.

·         Get to the airport early to leave time to get through security. “Each child should have a small backpack containing only items needed in transit such as toys, books, jacket and water bottle. Go through your child’s backpack or carryon before getting to the airport to be sure everything in it will meet TSA requirements,” notes Von Haden.

·         If you need child seats in the car, you probably need child seats on the plane.  Always travel with your child’s car seat — you will need it to travel to and from the airport, as well as on the plane.

·         Bring snacks on the plane for your children, as the airlines don’t offer a wide variety and young children may not want to wait until the flight attendants begin service.

·         Consider travel insurance. According to the Insurance Information Institute, trip cancellation insurance typically adds 5 to 7 percent to the cost of the trip, but it covers you should weather cause a delay or a family member becomes too ill to travel. Your local, professional independent insurance agent can get you in touch with a company that offers travel insurance.

For more information or to locate a PIAW member near you look for the PIAW logo or go to www.piaw.org.


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PIA Large

Professional Insurance Agents of Wisconsin
6401 Odana Road | Madison, WI 53719
Phone: (608) 274-8188 | Toll Free (800) 261-7429
Fax: (608) 274-8195 | Toll Free (866) 203-7461