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What do you do if you have an auto fire?

As many of you are aware, we love our Langlois-mobile. So, we try to take care of our car with routine maintenance. But, even with routine maintenance, issues can always arise in your automobile. So, today’s post is about how to properly avoid and react to an automobile fire.

Imagine you are driving down the interstate when black smoke starts rolling out from under your hood. Do you have any idea what’s going on? How are you going to react? Automobile fires are pretty rare compared to other types of highway incidents, so most people don’t know what to expect or how to handle the situation when it happens to them. However, car fires are extremely dangerous, so it’s important to avoid panic by knowing how to react if it occurs.

Reasons Why It Might Be On Fire

Car fires can be caused by a variety of things. Fuel leakages, overheating, short circuits, and car accidents can all cause fires. If you frequently see fluids collecting underneath your car, or if fuses in your car’s electrical system are getting blown out from old or loose wiring, it’s a good idea to get your car serviced right away. Older cars and vehicles that aren’t very well maintained are at a higher risk of catching on fire, so make sure you get your car checked regularly and address any issues you notice.

What to Do If Your Car Catches Fire

  • Turn your signal on and immediately move to the safest place to stop.
  • Put the car in park and turn off the ignition. Stopping the fuel flow and electric current is very important to prevent the fire from getting worse.
  • Get every person out of the car, and don’t allow anyone to go back to retrieve personal items.
  • Move at least 100 feet away from the burning vehicle to avoid the flames and toxic fumes and also keep bystanders back.
  • Call 911.
  • Alert oncoming traffic if possible.

What NOT to Do

Anytime drivers pull off the road to address a car issue, their first instinct is to look under the hood and try to determine the problem. If your car is smoking or you see flames, there’s no need to check it out – you know what the issue is here! Opening the hood sucks in a gust of air that actually fans the flames and exacerbates the problem. You can find out the cause of the fire later.

Also, don’t try to put the fire out yourself. Car fires can escalate quickly, and explosions are always a risk. It simply isn’t worth putting yourself in danger just to attempt putting out the flames. Let your insurance take care of the loss.

Lastly, don’t hesitate to call any of us at Langlois Insurance Agency if this situation occurs. After you’ve dialed 911 and authorities are on their way, give us a call from the scene if you can. The earlier you get in touch with us, the sooner he or she can start working on your claim and get you back on the road safely!

As always, if you have any questions or comments, please don’t hesitate to give me a call.  I always love to hear from my customers!

Warmest Regards,

Matt Langlois

 

 

4 Steps to Protect Backseat Passengers

Man, I look back at these old photos of my babies when they were in their car seats as newborns and so many feelings flood through me. I remember being so nervous about bringing these newborn babies home. In a car. In a car seat. I mean, what if I got into an accident. Would their car seat hold up? Would they be OK?

Studies show that the safest place for your child to ride in the car is the backseat. However, simply riding in the backseat isn’t enough to ensure your passengers’ safety. Certain precautions should still be taken for both children and adults riding in the back to reduce their risks of injury or death.

Aim For Buying a Newer Vehicle

When you’re in the market for a vehicle, keep backseat passengers in mind. The average car on the road is 11 years old, but there have been many advancements in car safety just within the last decade. Some particularly old cars aren’t even equipped with headrests, which are key to protecting passengers’ necks from whiplash. However, many newer models come with safety features just for the backseat, like side airbags and inflatable seat belts. Buying used is the budget-friendly way to go, but try to get a car that is at least fewer than 10 years old if you can.

Secure the Kids

Being equipped with the proper restraints is the most important factor in child passenger safety. Determine whether your child needs a car seat, booster seat, or seat belt based on his or her age, weight, and height. Not sure what to trust? Use this handy page from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to determine which restraints are best for protecting your child passenger.

Put Them In The Middle

Believe it or not, the middle seat is the safest seat in the entire car. It offers the most distance from impact during a collision, so the middle passenger is more likely to be protected from a crash in any direction. Just make sure the passenger is wearing a 3-point seatbelt. If a lap belt is the only option, they’re better off sitting in a window seat.

No Distracted Driving!

This one seems so obvious, but distracted driving is still the number one cause of car accidents in the U.S. It is always valuable to remember that activities like talking on the phone, texting, reading, grooming, or eating compromise the safety of you and your passengers.

Remember these tips when you’re buying a car, picking out a carseat for a child, or just running an errand with a friend. The backseat is known as the “safe seat,” but there are definitely measures you can take to make it even safer and protect the ones you love. Make sure you’re covered in case of an accident or injury with the right insurance plans!

As always, please don’t hesitate to call us with Langlois Insurance Agency at #815-485-2106 to discuss your insurance and coverage options. We always love to hear from our customers!

Warmest Regards,

Matt Langlois

Congrats to Toni Eberhart

Langlois Insurance Agency is excited to welcome Toni Eberhart as our newest Independent Insurance Agent. In order to become a licensed agent, Toni underwent 20 hours of pre-licensing classes and a difficult Illinois state exam. After passing with flying colors, Toni is now able to sell both Property and Casualty insurance in the state of Illinois. Congratulations Toni!

“We are looking forward to having Toni on board at Langlois Insurance Agency.  She offers exceptional customer service and we know she will be such an asset to our customers and our agency,” notes Matt Langlois, owner of Langlois Insurance Agency.

Toni will be working with our current customers, as well as new customers to Langlois Insurance Agency. And, fun fact – when she is not selling insurance, Toni loves to hang out with her family and go out on the river on their boat. Her favorite thing to do is attend her son’s football games — especially the home games at Lincolnway Central!

In fact, in the short period that she has been here, Toni has already done a wonderful job issuing policies to new customers:

Langlois Insurance Agency is a second-generation family business founded by Darrell L. Langlois in 1983. Matt Langlois joined forces with his father in 2000 and has been able to grow the agency by adding additional carriers and increasing agency staff, all in an effort to serve you better. Although we are growing, at our heart we are still a locally-owned and operated family business dedicated to providing friendly and professional service.

Langlois Insurance Agency is an Independent Insurance Agency which represents an average of ten insurance companies. We thoroughly research these companies to find you the best combination of price, coverage, and service. We work for you the customer, not the insurance company!

It is our privilege to help guide you to the best possible insurance program to meet all your insurance needs. Please take a minute to search our website and let us know how we can serve you. See for yourself the excellent insurance value we have to offer!

Langlois Insurance Agency is located at 200 West Maple Street in New Lenox, IL.  We can be contacted at #815-485-2106.  We always love hearing from our customers!

Warmest Regards,

Matt Langlois

What to Know Before Letting Someone Drive Your Vehicle

It happens. Sometimes we are in situations where we have to lend our vehicle to other people. Maybe you are not fit to drive and give the keys to someone who can. Maybe your family member needs to use it when moving items around. Regardless of the reason, you probably are a little cautious before letting someone else drive your car. After all, there are major consequences that can arise if something bad were to happen. Take a look at what you should be aware of the next time someone asks to borrow your car, even if it is for a minute or two.

Make Sure You Trust the Driver

While this is common sense, we still highly encourage drivers not to lend their keys to someone they do not know. Even if they are a good friend, make sure they don’t have a history of getting into wrecks. Because the second they get behind the wheel and take your car on a joy ride that ends unfavorably, you are going to be the one at fault.  This is because insurance follows the vehicle, not the driver.

Their Insurance Does Not Matter

Regardless of the fact that the person driving your car has insurance, it is not going to be their agency that covers the wreck. It will be yours since your car is covered through your agency. While the driver’s insurance may cover things like personal injury or medical expenses, you will still have the majority of the bill to take care of. Again, this is because insurance follows the vehicle, not the driver.

What to Do If You Have a Regular Driver

If it turns out that someone borrows your car more than occasionally, especially someone that you employ, please contact me so that we can discuss the situation and, if warranted, add them onto your policy.

Don’t Panic

While it is true that there are major consequences that can occur, this is really just for worst case scenarios. More than likely, you will be covered if you give someone verbal consent to drive your car. If you are nervous, feel free to give any of us at Langlois Insurance Agency a call to make sure all your bases are covered. We will be more than happy to guide you through the do’s and don’ts of lending your vehicle.

If you ever have any questions about your auto policy, don’t hesitate to get in touch with any of us at Langlois Insurance Agency. We are always here to help make life (and insurance) a little less complicated.  And, we always love to hear from our customers!

Warmest Regards,

Matt Langlois

Tips for New Teenage Drivers

Throughout the year, Langlois Insurance Agency receives many phone calls from anxious parents who are taking their kids to the DMV to get their driver’s license. These parents are, in insurance terms, freaking out. And, as a parent of an-almost-sixteen-year old, I can completely understand.

Ever since Henry Ford created the first mass produced automobile, parents have dreaded the moment when their child asks, “Hey mom and dad, can I borrow the car?”

Parents have so many worries with allowing their teen behind the wheel of a car. Distracted driving, speeding, texting & driving, adverse weather conditions, are just a few that come to mind. And, with these worries come questions that I am always happy to go over with my customers. Here are some common questions that I often hear from parents as they allow their children to take the wheel:

How can I lower my car insurance rates with my teen driver?

Younger drivers often face paying higher car insurance premiums than more experienced drivers because they are more prone to accidents and, as such, statistically present a higher risk. Fortunately, if you are a young driver (or the parent of a young driver), you can be eligible for a Good Student Discount. This Good Student Discount can be a wonderful way to save money on car insurance coverage for teen drivers. Please contact me for more information about this Good Student Driver discount. My favorite saying to parents, “Good grades can save you money!”

Another discount that your college-aged-driver could be eligible for is a Distant Student Discount. If the student leaves the car at home versus bringing it to school, you may see a decrease in your insurance rates. I have seen rate decreases for college students called a “distant student discount”, which is for a student who is at a college at least 100 miles away and chooses to leave their car at home. As always, please review your specific policy to confirm.

How can I help prevent texting and driving?

Studies have shown that people who read or compose text messages while driving are 23% more likely to be involved in a car crash than other drivers.

Let’s take a second to reread that statement.

Because of this, the law strictly forbids texting and driving. Unfortunately, many of our teen drivers (and let’s be real – adult drivers too) ignore this regulation. Who what can be done about this? Check out this great article that lists driving apps, which prevent texting while driving to help enhance safe driving and reduce the distraction rate.

One of my favorite apps is called SafeDrive. SafeDrive is a well-known app that disables texting while driving on an iPhone. One interesting feature of SafeDrive is that it rewards you for not texting while driving. This app will award you points that can be used toward discounts at participating stores.

Does my 16 year old even need to get their drivers license?

I get this question all the time. Some parents simply don’t believe that 16 is old enough for their child to get their drivers license and that this “rite of passage” into adulthood should be delayed. And, we are also seeing that many 16-year-olds simply aren’t in a huge rush to get their license.

According to a study from the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute, the percentage of all adults with a driver’s license has, in fact, declined in recent decades. And, the trend is strongest among teenagers.

In 1983, nearly half of American 16-year-old had a driver’s license. By 2016, that number had fallen to about 25% of 16-year-olds. So, if you feel like your teen simply isn’t ready to be behind the wheel, there’s no need to rush.

As always, please don’t hesitate to give me a call if you have any questions regarding your teen drivers insurance coverage. I always love to hear from my customers!

Warmest Regards,
Matt Langlois

What to Do After You Have Hit a Deer

Accidents are sudden and very nerve-wracking. Although we try to avoid them as much as possible, they still occur in great volume. On average, there are almost 1.23 million deer-related accidents in the United States every year. This number grows around the later months when mating season is in session. This causes more deer to accumulate in populated areas, making some roads very dangerous for drivers. Hitting them is sometimes unavoidable because they appear in your direct path. While we hope this never happens to you, here are the steps you should take if it does.

Move Over

We understand that during a wreck you are so shocked that your priorities are all over the place. However, you should try to stay calm and pull to the side of the road as soon as possible. You are still at risk for being hit by oncoming traffic even though the wreck has already occurred. If you are able to move your car over, do so. Once you are safe, turn on your hazard lights, check your passengers, and take a deep breath.

 

Alert Authorities

Don’t wait to give the police a call. Alert them of the situation immediately so they can handle everything. If the wreck is bad enough, they will need to direct oncoming traffic out of the way so you and others are kept safe. If the deer is still at the scene, it could block traffic and needs to be removed. When authorities do arrive, you will probably need to fill out an official report with them. Having the details fresh from the scene will be handy when filling out your insurance claim.

 

Document the Incident

When the road is safe, it’s time to start documenting. Take pictures of the scene including your surroundings, your car, the road, and any injuries you or your passengers have sustained. This will all be important information for your agent to look over when filing your insurance claim.

 

Stay Away from the Deer

Although it’s okay to check on the deer, you might want to do this at a safe distance. If the deer survives the collision, it will be rattled up and might pose as a threat if it decides to attack out of fear. Deer are known for having powerful legs and sharp hooves that provide a damaging kick.

 

Contact Langlois Insurance Agency Immediately

Like with the authorities, don’t wait to give any of us at Langlois Insurance Agency a call. The sooner, the better. We can immediately get started on your claim when the situation is fresh on your mind rather than later when you might forget some details.

 

Examine Your Car

Although you are probably more than prepared to go home, take a moment to examine your car thoroughly. If it has sustained a significant amount of damage, you should not drive home in it. You could put yourself in even more danger if you do. Instead, contact someone you trust that will take you and your passengers home while you have your car towed.

 

When you are met with a tough situation such as a car accident, the last thing you need is added stress. Having the right agent on your side will give you peace of mind. Let us take care of you today. Give our office a call at #815-485-2106 to see how we can assist you and your family.

As always, please don’t hesitate to contact any of us at Langlois Insurance Agency with any questions that you might have.  We always love to hear from our customers!

Sincerely,

Matt Langlois