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  CCW Safe Announcement  
  by Cindy Parroné |  

Protecting the things that you love and are important to you has always been our mission at Diederich Insurance. With the recent passage of Concealed Carry legislation in Illinois, we know many of you will decide to carry a firearm for your own safety. The liability coverage that extends from your homeowner’s insurance is limited. We have researched several concealed carry consumer protection packages. We are pleased to announce that we can provide comprehensive protection through our new partnership with CCW Safe. This coverage can be purchased through our agency as a gift to yourself and/or spouse, or you can purchase a gift certificate for someone on your Christmas list. Please contact us at 618.457.6721 for more information.

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  Deer Hunting begins today in Southern Illinois  
  by Cindy Parroné |  

A quarter of a million deer hunters hit the woods today in Illinois for the first shotgun season of the year, which continues through Sunday, November 18th. The deer have already been restless and mobile because it is mating season, but with the report of gunshots echoing around them, deer are even more likely to dart out onto a roadway. This annual ritual makes November the month with the largest number of deer/vehicle accidents (DVA) followed by December, October and June.

Statistics recently released by the insurance industry found that the average property damage deer claim ran about $3,305 in the first half of 2012. With reference to bodily injury, there were 613 persons hurt and six fatalities from DVA in Illinois during 2011. The chance of hitting a deer in our state is 1:250. Illinois ranks 26th in the U.S. for DVA, and the top ten DVA counties in Illinois are well north of Jackson County.

The most common driver DVA error is swerving to avoid hitting the deer. Instead of colliding with the animal, the vehicle is likely to leave the roadway to flip in a ditch, hit another vehicle or hit an object such as a tree, utility pole or guard rail. Swerving causes more significant damage and injury than a direct deer hit. The insurance carrier categorizes an animal collision as a comprehensive claim, which is not surcharged as heavily as a non-animal collision. Avoidance of the deer resulting in contact with another vehicle or object is an at-fault, surchargeable accident.

If you want to avoid harvesting a deer with your car, consider the following precautions:

  1. Be on the lookout for deer especially at dawn and dusk.
  2. Be on the watch for deer where signs mark deer crossings.
  3. Look for deer where you have seen them or deer carcasses previously.
  4. Use caution when deer habitats such as field edges, woodlots and water are near the roadway.
  5. When driving at night, watch for headlight reflections from the deer’s eyes. Using the high beams when there is no oncoming traffic is encouraged. Flashing your bright lights at the deer can wake them from their “trance” and scare them away from the road, especially if you honk the horn a few times.
  6. If you spot a deer, slow down and use your emergency flashers to warn other drivers. Be prepared to stop.
  7. Do not follow too closely behind another vehicle. If they encounter a deer, you could end up colliding with them from behind, which would be your fault.
  8. Wear your seatbelt.
  9. Remain alert, awake and sober.
  10. Minimize distractions inside your vehicle like loud music, cell phone use, texting, map reading or conversing with passengers.
  11. Do not rely on “deer whistles”.

Drive safely Southern Illinois! May the venison on your table be a hunting trophy rather than road kill!


  The Scariest Night of the Year  
  by Cindy Parroné |  

As an insurance agent, Halloween has become the scariest night of the year. It’s not the fake blood and grotesque masks that scare me, though. It’s the gruesome statistic that a child 5-14 years old is four times more likely to be hit by a car and die than any other day or night of the year according to a recent Center for Disease Control study. The odds are stacked against a youngster versus a motorized vehicle, and you are the responsible adult behind the controls of that vehicle.

Excited children tend to forget safety tips in their quest for sugary treats. 84% of child fatalities on Halloween occur mid-block as kids dart between cars to cross streets. They may not be able see you if they are wearing a mask that obscures their vision. Yes, the bodily injury liability portion of your auto insurance is designed to cover injury to others, but do you want to experience the anguish and guilt of harming a child? This is the sort of claim I hope not to ever handle, so promise me to use the following driving tips this Halloween.

  1. Be Alert. No texting, cell phone use or other distractions as you watch for children and irresponsible drivers.
  2. Communicate your driving intentions to others. Using your turn signals is especially important on a night like Halloween. Also use your hazard lights if you are pulling to the curb to let your own car full of trick-or-treaters enter or exit your vehicle.
  3. Slow down below the regular speed limit in areas where youngsters are present. For most communities in Jackson and Williamson counties, trick-or-treat runs from 5-8 or 9 p.m.
  4. Extra caution is necessary when entering or leaving driveways, parking lots and alleys. Tapping your horn to get attention couldn’t hurt.
  5. Do NOT pass cars that are stopped in the street. Even though these drivers are inconsiderately blocking traffic, children are likely to be getting in and out of the car on either side.
  6. Be certain to share these tips with the young drivers in your household that will be behind the wheel on Halloween. Nearly one third of child fatalities on this night are attributed to drivers 15-25 years old.

Have a Safe and Happy Halloween!

Cindy Parrone’
Licensed Insurance Agent
Diederich Insurance Agency


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