April 2018

April 01, 2018

Drive Safe: These Safety Measures Can Reduce Accidents

The nation’s roadways see more than six million motor vehicle crashes annually, and the most recent information indicates there were more than 37,000 traffic fatalities in the U.S. in 2016.

Fortunately, car manufacturers continue to improve safety features to help lower these numbers. Drivers, too, can take steps to reduce their risk of accidents and increase highway safety. These efforts can also keep claims to a minimum and insurance costs low. Consider the following top safety measures to make your driving experience safer and more affordable:

Focus: Distracted driving, which includes operating a cell phone, eating, or talking while driving, accounted for 14% of all motor vehicle crashes in 2015. And a February 2018 AAA report found that drowsy drivers accounted for almost 10% of all crashes. Decrease your risk of an accident: leave texting, conversations, lunch, and naps outside the car.

Seatbelts: These lifesaving devices have become standard practice for many drivers and passengers, but not all. Take a moment to click it on. Seatbelts are worth wearing; they saved more than 14,500 lives in 2016.

Electronic Stability Control (ESC): This vehicle feature is designed to control engine power and brakes to prevent accidents and rollovers. ESC saved more than 7,000 lives between 2011 and 2015. All vehicles manufactured since 2012 are required to have ESC.

This feature and other innovations are making vehicles safer each year. If you’re considering a vehicle purchase, don’t overlook the safety features newer cars can provide. They can make your drive safer, and may even reduce your insurance premiums.

Scott Matthews Draws Winner

Scott Matthews, Territory Sales Consultant for Encompass Insurance Company draws the winning ticket for our 1st Quarter Client Referral Rewards drawing. The winner was Priscilla Gomez from Salinas. She wins a $250 cash reward and has directed the $100 charity donation to Grace Tabernacle Church in Salinas.

Priscilla Gomez proudly displays her rewards from the 1st Quarter Client Referral Rewards drawing.

Thank You Priscilla for your business and referrals!

Orzo Salad with Spring Peas and Fresh Herbs

Serves 6

  • 1 1/4 cups (8 oz.) uncooked orzo pasta
  • 2 teaspoons lemon zest, reserved
  • 1/2 cup fresh-squeezed lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup minced shallots
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground pepper
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 cups fresh peas, cooked and cooled
  • 1 cup mixed chopped fresh herbs (e.g., mint, chives, parsley)
  • 1/2 cup sliced almonds, toasted


Prepare orzo according to package directions. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, whisk together the lemon juice, shallots, garlic, thyme, mustard, salt, and pepper. Continue whisking while gradually pouring in olive oil. Set aside.

Drain the orzo and place in a large bowl. Fold in the dressing and cool, then cover and chill for 1 to 48 hours.

Before serving, toss the orzo with the peas, herb mixture, zest, and almonds. Adjust seasoning with more salt, pepper, or lemon juice, if necessary.