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    Cell Phone Laws and Driving in MA

    Posted by Gordon Atlantic Staff

    Thu, Aug 01, 2013 @ 02:06 PM

    Dont break the law and text while driving get auto insurance from Andrew G Gordon IncDifferent people might tell you different things about cell phone usage in a car. Well, some of them might know what they're talking about, and others might not. But no worries! Here I am to clear the air about cell phone myths and driving in Massachusetts.

    It's Not Just a Cell Phone

    The registry defines anything that is a handheld OR portable electronic device that is capable of communicating with other persons as a "mobile electronic device". This does include, but is not limited to, cell phones. Other forms of a "mobile electronic device" include laptops, handheld videogame consoles (i.e. Nintendo DS), paging devices, iPods, iPads, etc.

    Cell Phone Usage

    • Now that we have defined a "mobile electronic device," know that any driver of any age is NEVER permitted to read, write, or send electronic messages while driving.
    • If a driver is over the age of 18, he/she is permitted to call someone/have somebody call him/her if one other condition is met: one hand must remain on the steering wheel at all times. However, do not fall victim to distracted driving by talking on the phone. Bluetooth and speaker phone options are available to be able to talk on the phone and have both hands on the wheel.
    • In the case of reporting an emergency, any driver of any age is allowed to use a "mobile electronic device" to report the emergency.

    Consequences of Breaking the Law

    Well first off, there's that whole greater chance of an accident thing going on here. That's very bad. You can injure yourself, somebody else, property, your car, and basically anything around you. That's the most immediate and direct effect of driving and texting.

    Secondly, there's the whole legal part. Breaking laws like these, which are in effect for very serious safety reasons, have harsh ramifications.

    Consequences:

    • Dont use your cell phone to text while driving prevent crashes with auto insurance from Andrew G Gordon Inc1st offense: $100 fine
    • 2nd offense: $250 fine
    • 3rd+ offense: $500 fine
    • Considered a moving violation
    • If found texting for an at-fault accident, driver is considered to have operated the vehicle in a reckless manner

    For junior operators:

    • 1st offense: junior operator loses permit or license for 60 days
    • 2nd offense: junior operators loses permit or license for 180 days
    • 3rd offense: junior operator loses permit or license for 1 year
    • Junior operator must pay $500 fine to get license reinstated
    • Junior operator must take an attitudinal adjustment class
    • Other fees and surcharges may apply

    To read the bill that fully explains this law, click here.

    I hope you keep in mind that texting and driving is never a good idea. Even if you are all alone, no pedestrians, no pets, no other moving vehicles in sight, taking your eyes off the road for a split second (average look away time is approximately five seconds) could result in disaster.

    Take a moment to remember all the lives that have been lost due to texting while driving, and be sure not to add your name to that list. The only way to do this is to not use your phone while driving. If it's really tempting, shut your phone off or put it in the backseat PLEASE. Stay safe, and if you have any questions or concerns feel free to contact us online (just not while you're driving). Learn more about auto insurance here.

    Driving with Insurance in Mind eBook  

    Tags: law, Auto Insurance, driving, texting, junior operator, cell phone, mobile phone, phone, electronic mobile device, texting and driving, teenage drivers

    Insurance Planet

    Posted by Gordon Atlantic Staff

    Wed, Dec 12, 2012 @ 11:18 AM

    Learn about insurance on earth with andrew gordon incImagine a world where every time something bad happened, someone was there for you. Your car could crash into a house, fall into a ditch, and explode into a million pieces all within the same second, and you would still be covered. Your house could be hit by a named storm, catch on fire, and have all the remaining valuables stolen, and you would still be covered. The sky could fall, it could rain cats and dogs, and zombies could rise and eat your flesh. Still covered? You bet.

    This ideal world is known as Insurance Planet. But is Insurance Planet truly ideal?

    On Insurance Planet, Murphy's law applies in the worst ways. Anything that can go wrong will go wrong. That's why every Insurance Planet citizen has insurance. Insurance dominates everyday activities because everything keeps going wrong. It's truly an awful lifestyle. Thank goodness we live on Earth.

    On Earth, Murphy's law is applicable some of time- not all of time. However, when things do go wrong, it's nice that us Earthlings have insurance available. It's not everyday that we're going to crash our car, experience a hurricane, or have our identity stolen. (It's like that on Insurance Planet. Something goes wrong EVERY SINGLE DAY).

    The one disadvantage earthlings have when compared to the citizens of Insurance Planet is that, generally, we don't entirely understand all of our policies. We have experts here and there, but most of us don't work in the insurance business.

    Insurance can be just a tricky thing. Some people know that you can file a claim for spoiled food, but forget to ask themselves if it would be worth it. Weirder claims than spoiled food have been made. And insurance has so much paperwork! "What is the difference between the HO-3 and the HO-5 forms?!?" you might ask, "It's just a number, right?!?"

    Wrong.

    Although we aren't aliens from Insurance Planet, we at Andrew G. Gordon, Inc. do our best to meet all of your insurance needs. Whether it's finding a quote, helping you prepare for natural disasters, or just explaining what your insurance policy will do for you, we are here to help!

    So if you ever find yourself experiencing a day that's simply filled with events that stem from Murphy's law, just find a desk and chair and look us up. Feel free to contact us at anytime, ask us your questions, and be happy that you live on Earth instead of the dreaded Planet Insurance! Learn about your personal insurance options here

     
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    Tags: commercial, personal, law, murphys law, aliens, planet, earth, insurance, weird

    New Driver – Parent Contract

    Posted by Gordon Atlantic Staff

    Wed, Nov 07, 2012 @ 10:00 AM

    Help your new teen driver understand the rules of the road with auto from andrew gordon inc insurance norwell maIn Massachusetts in 1999, over 42% of 16 year old drivers had an accident resulting in over $1,000 of reported damage before turning age 17 (this was 47% in 1997, before the Junior Operator’s Law took effect)! 23% of 17 year olds had a reported accident; for 18 year olds, the rate dropped to 18%. Experience matters. So does observance of the Junior Operators Law.

    One of the steps you can take towards safety is to sign this “New Driver-Parent Contract” along with your new driver. The contract outlines responsible driving practices and parent actions. 

    New Driver and  Parent Contract Click to Download the New Driver-Parent Contract

    Safety is always a vital aspect of life for us at A. G. Gordon, Inc., and we encourage you to check out some of our features at our website, or get a web quote. Access more resources for new drivers here

    Teen Driver Kit  
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    Tags: safety, new, law, insurance, Autos, junior, operator, contract, collisions, Business, cheap, car, driver, teen

    Are Your Turn Signals On?

    Posted by Gordon Atlantic Staff

    Sat, Oct 06, 2012 @ 10:10 AM

    Massachusetts is infamous for having drivers that do not use their turn signals while on the road. This lack of blinker use creates more problems than you might think.

    Prevent automobile collisions by using your vehicle signals and with auto from andrew gordon inc insurance norwell maIn fact, a shocking study by the Society of Automotive Engineers shows that one in every four turns is made without using a signal. The result? Two million collisions each year. Therefore, accidents caused by failure to use a blinker occur more than twice as often as accidents caused by distracted driving. (Distracted driving causes about 950,000 collisions per year.)

    Turn signals are important because they act as a form of communication. Other drivers cannot predict which way you are going, and you cannot predict their moves either.

    Whenever you use a blinker, you should always provide an ample amount of time for the other drivers to recognize your message. Use your blinker at least 100 feet before you make the turn (the distance between two electric poles is approximately 50 ft).

    When should I use a blinker?

    It's your responsibility to signal turns, even if your blinker breaks. Here’s what the law says:

    “Every person operating a motor vehicle, before stopping said vehicle or making any turning movement which would affect the operation of any other vehicle, shall give a plainly visible signal by activating the brake lights or directional lights or signal as provided on said vehicle; and in the event electrical or mechanical signals are not operating or not provided on the vehicle, a plainly visible signal by means of the hand and arm shall be made. Hand and arm signals shall be made as follows:—

    1. An intention to turn to the left shall be indicated by hand and arm extended horizontally.

    2. An intention to turn to the right shall be indicated by hand and arm extended upward.

    3. An intention to stop or decrease speed shall be indicated by hand and arm extended downward.

    Whoever violates any provision of this section shall be punished by a fine of not less than twenty-five dollars for each offense. “

    In plainer English, you should always use a blinker. For more specific situations, see below.Drive safely and warn other drivers with blinkers and auto insurance from andrew gordon inc norwell ma

    1. Making turns. Whether it’s a side road, a driveway, a fast food drive-thru, you need to let other drivers know where you're heading. Whenever you make a turn, your car will be slowing down and the cars behind you have to be aware that your speed will be changing prior to the turn.
    2. Switching lanes. You should always use a turn signal to indicate change of lane. Remember, there might be a driver right in your blind spot.
    3. Intersections and traffic lights. At all intersections, use the signal to show in which direction you intend to proceed. At intersections with traffic lights and traffic lanes (i.e. “left turn only” lanes), continue to use your turn signal. Other drivers behind you may have their vision blocked and are unable to identify the specificity of the traffic lanes.

    Using a turn signal doesn’t take away from any of the driving experience. All it does is create a safer environment for all drivers, including yourself.

    If you have any questions about insurance, feel free to contact us. Learn more about auto insurance here.

    INSURANCE QUESTION?

    Tags: auto, safety, law, prevention, ma, driving, accidents, blinker, signals, SAE, distracted, turn

    What is the Passenger Restriction for Junior Operators?

    Posted by Gordon Atlantic Staff

    Wed, Sep 05, 2012 @ 02:10 PM

    The jol passenger restriction for your teenage driver Gordon Atlantic InsuranceGetting a driver's license is one of the biggest rites of passage for a teenager.  But the first 6 months, driving with a Junior Operator license, is not without limitations.  As a high school student, the law I see broken most often is the passenger restriction law.

    The Rules, the Law,

    Junior operators are not allowed to drive passengers under the age of 18 for the first six months of driving; this law excludes siblings.

    If a junior operator is caught breaking this law, he/she will have a 180-day license suspension and have to pay a $100 reinstatement fee. A second offense leads to a suspension, the same fee, and another driving course (as if driver’s ed. wasn’t bad enough the first time around!). 

    Why Obey?

    Some teens shrug this law off. Why? Technically, the police cannot pull a teenager over for driving a passenger. The police do not possess a “junior operator first six months” radar. Unless you break another law that gives reason for you to be pulled over, the police will never know.

    Accidents are unplanned.

    If a junior operator is caught in accident with a passenger within the first six months of having a license bad things happen. First of all, there’s the whole law issue. Secondly (this may be more scary to teens), the junior operator now has to deal with his/her parents/guardians.

    Tips

    It’s not always so easy to say no if a friend asks for a ride. Even if your best friend since preschool asks you, it’s OK to say no. Here are some tips to avoid accepting an illegal passenger:

    1. You should always start by saying that the passenger restriction applies to you. This way, your friend knows from the start that driving him/her would be illegal and puts you at risk.
    2. Tell them that you feel uncomfortable breaking the law.
    3. Tell them that you have an agreement with your parents - if you are caught, you don’t have access to a car. Also, point out that parents do talk to each other. (i.e. Bob’s Mom: “It was so nice of Jimmy to drive Bob home from soccer yesterday!” Jimmy’s Mom: “What?!” )
    4. If worse comes to worse, and you have some extra time, tell him/her that you’ll stay with them until his/her ride comes. Sometimes friends will insist they need a ride simply because they don’t want to be left alone.

    Usually saying no will get you out of these uncomfortable situations. Don’t act as if you’ll change your mind. If you stay persistent with saying no from the beginning, your friend will realize that continually asking you is a lost cause.

    If you do say yes, you are a.) going to be breaking the law, and b.) earn a reputation among your peers as someone who is available to drive. You don’t want either of those.

    Best of luck to those new drivers!  Remember, be safe and be smart.

    For navigating the most efficient and economical way to keep insurance affordable with new inexperienced drivers, contact the specialists at Gordon Atlantic.  We've been helping families keep new drivers safe, and keep insurance costs low, since Geoff Gordon was first behind the wheel over 40 years ago. 

    And if you are new to Massachusetts, registering plates or transferring plates, or adding a title for a new vehicle, be sure to check out our article on the Massachusetts RMV-1 form.

     

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    Tags: auto, law, junior, operator, passenger, massachusetts, ma, license, tips, restriction

    Why Does My Insurance Company Not Fight My At-Fault?

    Posted by Geoffrey Gordon

    Thu, Jul 05, 2012 @ 09:12 AM

    Understand what your agent can do if youre at fault in an automobile collision with auto from andrew gordon inc insurance norwell maYou’ve just had a fender bender and then find out your insurance company won’t go to bat for you to avoid the dreaded ‘at-fault’ tag for the accident. Aren’t they supposed to? Isn’t that what you’d expect from a risk partner?

    Yes, they are.

    In fact, it’s always in your insurance company’s interest to have the other driver considered at-fault. And having your financial interests and the insurance company’s financial interests both trying to find the other driver at-fault is the best alignment possible.  

    Here’s why your interests align:

    The insurance company for the at-fault driver ends up paying most or all of the cost of the accident. That’s a big incentive. If you’re at-fault, they’ll pay your collision AND the repairs to the other driver’s car, even when the other driver goes through his own insurance. (This is a process known as subrogation, where the non-at-fault company gets paid after the fact by the at-fault driver’s company).

    So why don’t they fight harder?

    In short, legal reality. Massachusetts traffic law has been litigated and argued for about a hundred years. That’s a lot of case law. And even the most skilled lawyering can’t get you ‘not at-fault’ if the case law is against you (excepting documented extenuating circumstances).  

    Massachusetts traffic law has been summarized in the “Standard of Fault”. Distilled down to the very basics, the at-fault driver was usually in one of these situations:           

    • Not yielding to oncoming traffic

                     -Crossing traffic to turn left

                     -entering a main road from a side road

    • Hitting someone in the rear 

                     –not stopping in time

    • While in reverse

    It’s always good to get fresh information at the accident, to avoid ‘description drift’.  See our tips on right after an accident to understand how to protect your interests. Or call us at 800-649-3252. Learn more about auto insurance here

      Driving with Insurance in Mind eBook  

    Geoff Gordon

    Tags: auto, risk, management, law, insurance, fender bender, at-fault, at-fault, litigation, accident, Automobile, Vehicle, car, crash, traffic

    The "Ordinance or Law Endorsement:" What Does It Do?

    Posted by Gordon Atlantic Staff

    Fri, Apr 13, 2012 @ 03:44 PM

    Protect your home but cover it in case of a fire or accident with homeowners from Andrew Gordon Inc Insurance Norwell MAIf there’s a fire in your home and only one room is damaged, insurance should pay for its repair or replacement.  What happens when the local electrical inspector comes in after the fire, and requires full replacement of an old and obsolete electrical system – none of which was actually damaged by the fire?   The owner has no choice: fix it to get back in the house.  While fixing undamaged (but outdated) parts of the house aren’t insured under a standard property policy, there is a solution.

    The Ordinance or Law endorsement provides additional funds, commonly up to 10% of your dwelling limit, for costs you incur due to the enforcement of any ordinance or law which requires or regulates:

    1)       The construction, demolition, remodeling, renovation or repair of that part of a covered building or other structure otherwise damaged and insured;

    2)      The demolition and reconstruction of the undamaged part of a covered building or other structure, when that building or other structure must be demolished because of insured  damage to another part of that covered building or other structure; or

    3)      The remodeling, removal or replacement of the portion of the undamaged part of a covered building or other structure necessary to complete the remodeling, repair or replacement of that part of the covered building or other structure damaged by a ‘Peril Insured Against’.

    What does this mean for you, a home owner? 

    Simply put, sometimes the enforcement of a regulation or law means taking down or removing “undamaged” stuff: like old wiring.   Recall that a homeowners (and other property) policy provides coverage when something is damaged, but doesn’t provide coverage to undamaged parts.   If your town building inspector requires you to replace undamaged (but outdated, possibly dangerous) parts by enforcing existing building codes, you’ll incur additional costs.  Since these are not included in the standard homeowner policy, the Ordinance or Law endorsement is designed to fill that gap by providing coverage for these additional costs.

    Although the standard policy only provides 10% of the dwelling limit for Ordinance or Law coverage, higher limits, up to the full dwelling limit, may be added for an additional cost.

    For more information about this important coverage, please contact us at www.agordon.com.

    Top 10 Things to Know about Homeowner's Insurance

    Tags: house, home, damage, repair, construction, law, electric, ordinance, endorsement, replacement, upgrades, standard property policy, insurance, fire, remodeling, homeowners

    The Difference Between a DUI and an OUI

    Posted by Gordon Atlantic Staff

    Fri, Oct 28, 2011 @ 04:10 PM

    the difference between a oui and a dui gordon atlantic insuranceEver wonder what the difference is between being charged with Operating Under the Influence (OUI) and Driving Under the Influence (DUI)? 

    What is the difference between OUI and DWI?

    Across the nation, drunk driving laws are aimed to curtail impaired driving and save lives.  It turns out Massachusetts uses the OUI standard, the biggest distinction being that a driver may be charged if the keys are in the ignition - even if the operator pulled off the road to sleep off a bottle of Jack Daniels. In states with Driving While Impaired (DWI) laws, this same impaired operator may not be charged if he or she pulled off the road. Although the operator may be taking a drunken snooze in the driver’s seat in the parked vehicle, this situation does not violate the law in DWI states as the operator is not in the process of driving. For the operator in an OUI state, District Attorney Cruz pointed out, removing the key from the ignition could make the difference between an arrest or not. If the key remains in the ignition, the person is considered to be operating the vehicle.

    Where did these stricter laws come from?

    Impaired driving laws save lives and efforts to curtail repeat offenders were bolstered with the enactment of Melanie’s Law in 2005. The statute is named after thirteen year old Melanie Powell of Marshfield who was killed in an accident caused by a repeat offender in 2003. Melanie’s Law strengthens the penalties for repeat drunk drivers. Statistics show that the roads have become safer under Melanie’s Law - today, 3500 Massachusetts drivers with a history of driving drunk are unable to start their cars without first blowing a clean, sober breath into a tube to unlock their ignition. The end result is that Melanie’s Law saves lives.

    For more topical insurance information and resources, like our whiteboard videos, visit our website. Learn more about your auto insurance options here.

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    Tags: DUI, auto, law, under the influence, Recidivism, alcohol, intoxication, content, insurance, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, oui, blood, massachusetts, driving, car, difference, between, drunk

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