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There are over 314 million people living in the United States and they own over 9 million motorcycles. According to the Insurance Information Institute Inc., there were over 4,500 fatalities in 2010, despite a 16% decrease in motorcycle sales. In 2009, speeding accounted for 35% of all of the motorcycle fatalities that year, compared to 23% for cars. And helmet use in 2009 went from 67% of riders to 54% in 2010 resulting in nearly half of the fatalities resulting from not wearing them.

What causes most motorcycle accidents? The most frequent cause is the inability of vehicular motorists to see motorcyclists. Motorcycles are smaller than cars and drivers tend to look for other cars, not bikes.  As a result, estimating the distance and oncoming speed becomes more difficult. Those who primarily or only driver cars are also not used to the driving patterns of motorcyclists and so this also becomes harder to judge.

Over 40% of all motorcycle accidents occur at intersections when a car driver is making a left turn in front of a motorcycle.  Another common scenario is when a driver is making a left turn on a 4 lane road and the car in the closest oncoming lane stops but the motorcycle in the oncoming far curb lane decides to run the yellow light. Other common situations are when an oncoming driver rear ends a motorcycle or if the motorcyclist runs into the back end of a vehicle.

Another thing to keep in mind is the blind spot.  Cyclists riding alongside a lane of cars may be out of the view of the drivers. This could lead to an unsuspecting driver colliding with the motorcycle as they try to change lanes.

Other conditions that can affect a motorcycle rider far more than a car driver are road obstructions such as potholes, fallen tree limbs or railroad tracks. An icy or wet road or a road with sand on it can also present a perilous situation for riders. Then there’s wind conditions as well as larger vehicles such as vans or trucks that can block a rider’s view or view of the rider from other motorists.

Riding a motorcycle is a lot of fun and the freedom of the open road is very inviting. But you need to be safe and aware out there. Take a class and get a motorcycle license, to begin with. Wear a helmet! Check out some of the helpful videos on Youtube.com, like those from this group.
Be safe and have fun! And call us for Motorcycle Insurance! Avalon Agency New York Connecticut 800-676-4921

Row, row, row your Boat Insurance

When you think about Boat Insurance, what’s the first type of loss that comes to mind?

Sinking, of course. And this happens, probably more often than people realize. I was once told by an Ocean Marine guy at one of my companies that one cargo ship goes down, on average, every day somewhere in the world. I also have a close friend whose 28 foot Thompson sank AT THE DOCK. And this occurred because of a faulty .75 cent hose clamp.

The sea is a wild and wooly place. In February of 2010, a friend from our local firehouse was on board the S.V. Concordia when a sudden vertical wind blast capsized this beautiful ship. Luckily all those on board survived, but not before having to spend 40 hours in life boats. Click the picture for the story. It’s quite the tale.

After the recent hurricane blew through our area, we happened to head down to Calf Pasture Beach in Norwalk, Connecticut in search of a car show. The show had been cancelled, but we did get some pictures of these boats, on land, that had suffered from some other perils that many boat owners might not take into consideration.

Pretty obvious. This is a total loss by fire here. Boat fires can happen on land or on the water. We can’t know where this one occurred.

I think the wind got  hold of this sailboat, and not in the positive, life affirming way its owner was planning on.

We’ve insured some of our customers boats for many years, with no incident. However, some of the claims we have seen include a dinghy floating out to sea, a $150,000 boat washed away by a storm and found later on the shoreline of an island, and something as simple as a sea tow.

These crafts often are a big investment, financially. They can also be a very important part of a lifestyle and the source of much enjoyment for their owners. When things go awry, I want to be able to tell someone they are covered. Hey, that’s what I do. I insure boats. 🙂

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Avalon Agency
70 Westchester Ave.
Pound Ridge, NY 10576