Having a flat tire when driving is always a problem. But experiencing a flat or blowout while traveling on an interstate highway or other high-speed roadway can present special dangers. The National Safety Council offers these tips for coping with tire trouble:
At the first sign of tire trouble, grip the steering wheel firmly.
Don't slam on the brakes.
Let the car slow down gradually by taking your foot off the gas pedal.
Work your vehicle toward the breakdown lane or, if possible, toward an exit.
If it is necessary to change lanes, signal your intentions to drivers behind and do so smoothly and carefully, watching your mirrors and the traffic around you very closely.
Steer as your vehicle slows down. It is better to roll the car off the roadway (when you have slowed to 30 miles per hour) and into a safe place than it is to stop in traffic and risk a rear-end or side collision from other vehicles.
When all four wheels are off the pavement—brake lightly and cautiously until you stop.
Turn your emergency flashers on.
It's important to have the car well off the pavement and away from traffic before stopping, even if proceeding to a place of safety means rolling along slowly with the bad tire flapping. You can drive on a flat if you take it easy and avoid sudden moves. Don't worry about damaging the tire. It is probably ruined anyway.
Once off the road, put out reflectorized triangles behind your vehicle to alert other drivers. Keep your emergency flashers on. If you know how to change a tire, have the equipment and can do it safely without being near traffic, change the tire as you normally would.
Remember that being safe must take precedence over your schedule or whatever other concerns you may have. Changing a tire with traffic whizzing past can be nerve-wracking at best and dangerous at worst. Therefore, it may be best to get professional help if you have a tire problem or other breakdown on a multi-lane highway.
Raise your hood and tie something white to the radio antenna or hang it out a window so police officers or tow truck operators will know that you need help.
DO NOT stand behind or next to your vehicle. If possible, stand away from the vehicle and wait for help to arrive.
All interstate highways and major roads are patrolled regularly. Also, some highways have special "call-for-help" phones. If you have a cell phone you can call right from the roadside. It is inadvisable to walk on a multi-lane highway. However, if you can see a source of help and are able to reach it on foot, try the direct approach by walking but keeping as far from traffic as possible.
These are the most important things to remember when dealing with a flat tire on the highway:
DO NOT stop in traffic.
Get your vehicle completely away from the roadway before attempting to change a tire.
Tackle changing a tire only if you can do so without placing yourself in danger.
Finally, the Council recommends that you have a qualified mechanic check your vehicle after having a flat tire to be sure there is no residual damage from the bad tire or the aftermath of the flat.
You like your roommate. You trust your roommate. But should you both be on the same renters policy?
The answer, in most instances, is “No,” even though some insurance companies will allow it.
Renters insurance covers your belongings, along with providing protections for loss of use, liability, etc. Roommates are not included by default on a policy, even if you’re both on the lease. Also, there’s no “insurable interest” between roommates, which means they typically don’t have any financial interest in your stuff, and you don’t have any in theirs.
To put it another way: If you didn’t renew your lease, you’d take your things, and they would take theirs. It’s not like a divorce, with a lot of shared property. (Although maybe you’d both fight to take that rice cooker you bought together and never used).
Here are three reasons not to share a renters policy with a roommate:
If they get sued, you could get hurt. Say your roommate’s dog bites somebody. If it’s even covered (some policies exclude certain dog breeds), a shared policy means you could be part of the lawsuit. That would be a hassle, and it might mean higher premiums for you down the road.
Your stuff isn’t all the same. Does your roommate have expensive items, such as jewelry? If they have a lot of valuables and you don’t, you could end up paying more than your fair share for coverage.
It’s more complicated than sharing the power bill. First of all, sharing a policy means you need to make sure your roommate pays their part of the bill. But things can really get complicated if there’s a claim. The check will be made out to both of you, even if it’s just your stuff that was damaged or stolen. If they don’t sign it, you can’t cash it. (Important note: If your roommate steals your stuff, it is not covered by renters insurance... and it's probably a good time to find a new roommate, too.)
While you already share a place with your roommate, you probably don’t need to share your insurance. Having your own policy will provide the protection you need, usually at a very affordable price.
Feel like you’re paying more for homeowners insurance than you used to, it's a safe bet to say your feeling would be correct. Over the past 20 years, homeowners insurance rates have increased over 50% across the United States.
You no doubt want to make sure your home is protected, but you don’t want to pay more than you have to, either. Here are a few tips you can do to make sure you get the best deal on homeowners insurance:
Shop around. Rates can vary dramatically from one company to another - and there are hundreds of different insurers that offer homeowners insurance. If you haven’t researched the market in the past 24 months, it makes sense to shop. Paschall Insurance Group can help, and since we aren’t tied to one insurance company, we are able to offer you plenty of options.
Increase your deductible. This one change can help significantly reduce or even eliminate your annual premium increase altogether. If making this change you should still be diligent about keeping funds set aside in case a claim needs to be filed.
Don’t file small claims. If a homeowners claim would cost less than $1,000, it probably doesn’t make sense to file it. Insurance companies track customer claims, and even a claim of a few hundred dollars could cause a client to miss out on “loss-free” discounts.
Bundle with auto or umbrella insurance. When you buy insurance for your home and car from the same company, you usually get a significant discount on both policies. Other policies, such as umbrella insurance, might qualify, too.
Maintain good credit. In most states, insurers offer discounts to applicants with high credit scores, so keeping a solid credit history can lower your insurance costs. To protect your credit rating, pay your bills on time, keep outstanding balances low, and monitor your credit report regularly.
Review your policy carefully. You likely are eligible for a number of discounts and credits, so make sure you get them! Homeowners often receive discounts for having newer homes, multiple policies with the same company, good credit and a clean claims history. Even your proximity to a fire hydrant might save you money. And if your situation has changed, let your insurer know immediately as you could be eligible for even more discounts.
Improve your home security and safety. Deadbolts, burglar alarms, and other security devices are all ways to keep your home safe and potentially lower your insurance costs. For example, an alarm that connects to police, fire, or other monitoring stations can save you as much as 20% on your homeowners premium.
Keep in mind that different companies offer different discounts, and options will vary depending on where you live. It is important to sit down and review your policy with your agent every couple of years. The insurance market is constantly changing so make sure you are always getting the best coverage at the best price for your insurance needs.
From our offices in Weatherford, Texas, we serve clients anywhere in the State of Texas, though the following areas are geographically closest to us: the counties of Dallas, Tarrant, Denton, Wise, Johnson, Parker and Hood and the cities of Arlington, Bedford, Brock, Burleson, Cleburne, Colleyville, Coppell, Dallas, Decatur, Euless, Fort Worth, Frisco, Granbury, Grapevine, Hurst, Keller, Mansfield, Millsap, Mineral Wells, North Richland Hills, Southlake, Watauga, Weatherford, and White Settlement.