Current Events


You all know how the song goes: “Summertime… and the living is easy…. ”

That is, until you get into an accident. Even a fender bender can get you all stressed out. The number of car accidents increase during the summer months, especially during the holidays. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), the July 4th holiday statistically has the highest number of crash-related deaths than any other day of the year due mainly to drunk driving.

But the summer holidays are a time to celebrate independence, spend time with family, and go on those road trips, right?! Before you hit the road, it’s always a good idea to be prepared for potential dangers. Here are some tips from the latest article by the Insurance Information Network of California (IINC) that drivers should follow in order to get to their destinations safely:

Follow the rules of the road. Buckle up, allow extra time for busy roads and avoid speeding, which reduces your ability to react to road hazards.

Designate a driver. If you have been drinking, plan ahead and designate a non-drinking driver or call a cab. A DUI conviction could cost upwards of $10,000. (Not to mention that your insurance premiums could quadruple and remain high for at least 6 years!)

At the scene of an accident. If you are involved in an accident take notes of the scene and the situation, taking pictures if possible, exchange information with the other driver without discussing insurance coverage limits and call your insurer as soon as possible.

Getting pulled over. Pull over to the side of the road when it is safe. Roll your window down to hear the officer and exchange documents, answer the officer respectfully and sign the ticket without question. Signing a ticket is not an admission of guilt if you think you were wrongly cited. (You can avoid getting pulled over by being aware of your speed at all times.)

So keep these tips in mind, and don’t forget to take along your playlist of roadtrip songs. Don’t have any? If you’re a Gen-Xer like me, here’s a great list that I found from 80s Road Trip Songs:

Eddie Money-Shakin
Dexies Midnight Runners-Come On Eileen
Tracy Chapman-Fast Car
Go-Go’s-Vacation
Katrina and the Waves-Walking on Sunshine
Billy Idol-Rebel Yell
The Clash-Should I Stay or Should I Go
Joan Jett-Bad Reputation
B-52’s-Love Shack
Sammy Hagar-I Can’t Drive 55

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About a month after the 9/11 attacks, I was able to see first hand the damage done at Ground Zero: the makeshift memorials of those who were never heard from after the event, and the large hole in the ground where the towers used to stand.

Eight months after the attacks in May 2002, I had the opportunity to attend the candlelight vigil of the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial . This is an annual event held in Washington, D.C. This particular year highlighted the fallen heroes of the attacks at the World Trade Center, the Pentagon and Flight 93, and there was a record number of visitors — standing room only!  It was a very emotional, yet uplifiting, moment for all those present.

More recently, in 2007, I vacationed in New York City and revisited Ground Zero and viewed the 9/11 memorials. At the same visit, I went to the NYPD Museum and experienced the memorial, which included a video tribute, for the officers who responded to the WTC attacks.

Eight years later, each memory or visual of the 9/11 attacks still makes me emotional. I’m sure everyone remembers what they were doing that morning. I remember driving to work (I had a 30 minute commute at the time) and listening to the various radio stations covering the catastrophe. I didn’t see any of the tv footage so I didn’t realize how extensive this was. About 20 minutes into my commute, I get a call from my sister who was in New Jersey on business at the time. She asked me if I had heard the news about the attacks. She then told me that she was supposed to be on Flight 93, which was to arrive in San Francisco.  I believe it was by divine providence that her project was delayed and she had to spend an extra day or two in NJ. It wasn’t until I got into work and saw the news coverage that I realized – had her project been on schedule I might not have seen her again…

I can’t imagine how those who actually lost someone in that catastrophe feel each year at this time. I am remembering today those who lost their lives while going about their normal day, especially those who put their life on the line to save the others. Thank you for your courage and heroism. I continue to pray for the families and friends they leave behind.

No one has greater love than this,

to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. -John 15:13

It’s during times like these that we should take the time to appreciate our loved ones who are still living, and memorialize those who have gone before us. Regardless of how they passed, they somehow made an impact on our life. This is also a good time to think about the legacy we will leave, whether it’s through an estate, will, foundation, etc. Contact your family attorney or financial advisor to help with your estate planning. Many banks and credit unions also have departments that can help or can refer you to someone. The credit union I belong to holds seminars that educate their customers on estate planning. Your insurance agent can help you get started with a life insurance policy. It’s a very simple way to start that legacy.