PRESS RELEASE – As Ohioans kick off the holiday season, AAA Ohio Auto Club Insurance Agency offers five tips to help prevent costly holiday mishaps on the road and at home.
“The holiday season is one of the most festive times of the year, but it can also be one of the most dangerous,” said Brad Oltmans, vice president of insurance and financial services for AAA Ohio Auto Club. “With a little planning, you can keep holiday festivities from turning into costly disasters.”
On the Road:
- Slow Down: Winter storms and slick road conditions are a factor in more than 2,000 road deaths every year, according to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety. Give yourself plenty of time when driving in inclement weather. Slow down, increase following distance and brake before turning.
- Drive Sober: Impaired driving is a major issue, especially during the holidays. Alcohol-impaired crashes account for nearly one-third of all traffic fatalities, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Drive sober and serve non-alcoholic mocktails at holiday gatherings. Ohio’s host liability law holds party hosts responsible for vehicle crashes caused by inebriated guests.
- Protect Your Belongings While Shopping: When shopping this holiday season stay vigilant, and take steps to protect your belongings and vehicle. Park under a light, be aware of your surroundings, avoid idle time in the parking lot and don’t leave valuables in plain sight. Also, keep in mind door dings or broken headlights from runaway carts of other shoppers may be covered by your auto policy.
“Insurance can help you recover what’s lost from a crash or theft, but keep in mind not all insurance policies are the same,” said Oltmans. “Make sure you talk with your insurance agent so you understand what your policy covers before a mishap occurs.”
- Decorate Safely: About 160 decorating-related injuries occur each day during the holidays, according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission. Falls contribute to nearly half of these injuries. Should you or a guest slip while hanging holiday lights, your insurance policy may cover associated medical bills, and may provide defense against a lawsuit, but you need to check with your agent for what your policy covers.
- Prevent Fires: Dry Christmas trees, holiday light displays and candles can all lead to dangerous fires. Keep Christmas trees at least three feet from any heat source, and with a live tree, check the tree stand each day to see if it’s filled with enough water. Examine lights for frayed wires, broken or cracked sockets or insulation gaps, and don’t overload electrical sockets. Keep candles away from decorations that could catch fire.
AAA Ohio Auto Club Insurance Agency also recommends testing all smoke alarms while putting up holiday decorations. Homeowners and renters should also check with their insurance agent to make sure they have adequate coverage should a holiday fire occur.
“While the holidays are a time for cheer and goodwill, an accident can quickly spoil the spirit,” said Oltmans. “Being aware of your insurance coverage can offer peace of mind and a measure of reassurance at the holidays.”
For insurance information, visit AAA.com/Insurance.
AAA provides more than 62 million members with travel-, insurance-, financial- and automotive-related services. Since its founding in 1902, the not-for-profit, fully tax-paying AAA has been a leader and advocate for the safety and security of all travelers. AAA clubs can be visited online at AAA.com.
Kimberly Schwind | Senior Manager, Public Affairs | AAA Ohio Auto Club
P: 614.431.7896 | P: 888.222.6446 x. 7896 | M: 216.849.3500