Know the 7 rules of the road for bicyclists


Biking to work, for exercise, or just to enjoy beautiful weather — no matter why or where you ride, your bike is considered a vehicle. Because bicyclists share the road with motorists, you need to be aware of your surroundings at all times.

In general, follow these seven guidelines any time you’re biking to stay safe on the road:

  1. Wear a helmet. Adjust the straps on the helmet until it is
         snug and sits level on your head.
    See the complete steps
         for helmet fitting here.


  2. Do not wear headphones, which impair your ability to hear
         traffic
    or warning signals.

  3. Don’t ride on sidewalks. They are intended for pedestrians,
         and many cities have ordinances prohibiting it.

  4. Obey the same rules as auto drivers when riding on the
         street. Ride with traffic, stop at lights and stop signs, and
         yield to pedestrians.

  5. Ride in a straight line at least three feet from the curb or
         parked vehicles. Don’t swerve around vehicles.

  6. Stay visible with bright colors, lights, and reflective clothing,
         especially at dawn, dusk, and night.

  7. Use the appropriate hand signals for stopping and turning (see below).


Some states have specific ordinances regarding bicyclists. Go to your state’s Department of Transportation website for more information.

For a list of scenic bicycle trails in your area, visit www.railstotrails.org.

7 ways to keep thieves out of your vehicle


Every 43 seconds — that’s how often a vehicle is stolen in the U.S. And only about 56 percent of them are recovered.


Nearly half of all thefts are due to driver error, which means you can make a big difference in preventing them. Take these steps to deter thieves from targeting your car:

  1. Remove your keys, close the windows,
         and lock the car.
  2. Never leave your car running unattended.
  3. Don’t keep any belongings — especially
         valuables — in sight in your vehicle.
  4. Park in a garage or a well-lit area.
  5. Don’t store your registration and title in
         the car.
  6. Keep your keys out of sight at home.
  7. Purchase an anti-theft device. Visual and audio devices, such as steering wheel locks and
         alarm systems, are powerful deterrents. See a variety of other anti-theft systems here.
If your car is stolen, call the police to report the theft. Give them as much detail as possible, including license plate and vehicle identification numbers; make, model, and color; and other distinguishing elements of your vehicle. Then, contact your insurance company to report the loss.

See more stats and ways to protect your vehicle from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.


Statistics from the NHTSA.

Reduce your loss exposure by using participant waivers


If your organization hosts participant activities such as fitness classes, rock climbing walls, or charity runs, you should create a participant waiver.


A waiver transfers the liability risk to the participant and, when well written, clearly identifies the hazards and expectations of participating in an activity.


What a good waiver includes

If a waiver is generic and not specific to your operations, you could be vulnerable to liability claims. Just as laws vary from state to state, so do waiver requirements.

An attorney can draft wording that fits your operations, as well as local laws. For example, basic legal language would include a Hold Harmless Agreement and an Indemnification Agreement.

Ideally, the waiver should not be part of a larger packet of information. It is more likely to stand up in court when it’s a stand-alone document. If included in part of a large information packet, the injured participant could say they weren’t clear that the waiver was included.

How to use a waiver
Waivers must be signed by every participant, or by the participant’s legal guardian. Have them sign at the time of entry or registration into an activity. The simple act of going over the document helps them decide whether they wish to accept all risks involved.

Why waivers work

Often, a signed waiver is enough to discourage claims — if participants remember signing the waiver, many won’t file a claim. In this way, the waiver acts as a deterrent. And in the event a claim is raised, the waiver can help show that the participant understood the expectations and responsibilities. It can be used as a road map to determine a policyholder’s liability.

Please remember, waivers do not lessen your duty to provide safe programs.

Prevent cyber bullying, promote online safety


Gossip, harassment, impersonation — no matter what form cyber bullying takes, it can ruin reputations, harm relationships, and cause emotional damage. And it’s more common than you think: 88 percent of teens online say they’ve witnessed bullying on social media.

If your child is being bullied, talk to them and help them take the following steps:
• Ignore the bully or log off to make them lose interest.
• Block the person from their friend list or email
  account.
• Change the username and password if a profile has
  been hacked.
• Contact the company that runs the site if a false
  profile was created.

SECURA policyholders have additional resources through our Identity Fraud Expense and Restoration coverage. Representatives can:
• Help you block websites or users.
• Monitor your child’s online reputation.
• Recover an identity that has been compromised.
• Help you set computer controls.
• Offer advice and assist you in taking further steps to stop the bullying.

To learn more about cyber bullying, visit www.stopbullying.gov/cyberbullying.

Tighten your social media security
In addition, talk to your kids about their online security. Remind them not to share personal information such as passwords, birthdays, or locations online. Help them check Facebook privacy settings to determine who can view their information and post on their timeline. Review the posts and photos they’ve been tagged in via the Facebook Activity Log. If you find something you don’t like, they can untag the photo or hide it from their timeline. If you’re on Facebook, require your children to friend you.