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Furry Friend Friday With Roxie!

roxie

We’re back at it again, for today’s Furry Friend Friday I sat down with Roxie!  Roxie is a boxer who is entering her golden years, but that doesn’t stop her from getting out and about!  Today she was nice enough to sit down with me and answer a few questions about her day to day routine.

Roxie, what is your favorite way to spend the day?

Well I used to be more active when I was younger, but I still love going for a ride in the car, shot gun of course!  Other than that my main interests are eating big meals, being around my family, playing with my fellow K9 friends, and sun bathing for a few hours.  What could be better?

Do you have a favorite toy?

My rope toy! I could play with that for hours on end if someone will play tug of war with me!  You may think that toys are just for puppies but us older dogs still like to play!

What about a favorite treat? 

CHEESE!  I am a cheese fiend and will do anything for it!

I’m sure as a boxer you are very brave, but is there anything that does scare you?

It’s ironic that I am a boxer because my mom would tell you I’m a big baby.  Even though I look tough, loud noises make me jump.  Thunder is the worst though, it always gets to me!

Where is your favorite place to go for a walk?

I love to explore the woods near my house, there are so many things to smell and new sights to see!  If we don’t go for a walk in the woods, I’m perfectly content to roam around my yard.  We have an electric fence so I can pretty much go wherever I please.  When I was younger I loved to dig up all of the flowers in our yard after running around for a bit, it got rid of all of my extra energy but my parents are glad that I stopped.

Do you have any health concerns?

I’ve been very fortunate in the past and didn’t have many issues at all, however now that I am getting a little older the problems are starting to creep up on me.  I recently had an ear infection, staph infection, and then I pulled a muscle in my shoulder!  I am also becoming allergic to something, however it is still a mystery as to what it is so that will require some tests.  As you can see I have a few minor issues, but they racked up some major vet bills!

Unfortunately, Roxie does not have pet insurance.  Even though she had somewhat minor issues, they resulted in major vet bills which can be a financial burden for some.  Give us a call at MassDrive today and get a pet insurance quote for your furry friend!  There’s no better feeling than knowing your four-legged friend is protected against the unexpected!

 

 

 

 

Save At The Pump With These Gas Station Finder Apps!

gas station

I’m sure all of you have noticed the recent spike in prices at the pump.  We know that every penny counts, especially if you are a frequent driver which is why we’ve come up with a list of the top gas station finder apps!  Check these out and scroll through the listings of nearby stations until you find the best price available. Prices don’t appear to be changing any time soon (unless they keep going up) so download one of these apps and start saving!

GasBuddy – If you’re against paying for a gas app, this is the one for you.  GasBuddy has all of the typical components of a gas app, it utilizes the GPS in your smartphone to determine your location and the location of gas stations in your area.  It lists the gas prices and also lists any amenities at the station such as bathrooms, pay at pump, and food.  You can sort your search results by price or by distance if you’re simply looking for the closest station.  Once you select the station you want to visit, you can get directions to the gas station via the iOS’s built-in Maps app.  Users can create accounts with this app and update prices and amenities of the gas stations in the area.  This is a great resource, however, updates are not always timely or accurate and sometimes nearby gas stations are missing from the list all together.

SmartFuel – This is one of the best gas station finder apps out there, IF you are willing to pay.  You do get a free 30 day trial with this app, but after the 30 days is up you need to subscribe to the service, which ranges from $4.99 for 6 months, to $14.99 for 24 months.  While the price can be a turn off, if you subscribe for 24 months that only costs about 62 cents per month.  If you’re a frequent driver you will likely save more than that by using the app anyway!  Reviews describe this app as being highly accurate, and drivers can even bookmark their routes to make the search process easier.  The listings even have the prices for all types of gas at the station, whether it be regular, mid-grade, premium unleaded, diesel, or E85 ethanol.  If you’re willing to pay, this app could save you big bucks in the long run.

Fuel Finder – Fuel Finder has the same features mentioned in the apps above; nearby stations based on GPS, directions to these gas stations, and pricing of course.  Nearby stations are displayed in a list or as nearby points on a map, and you can search up to 10 miles away.  Fuel Finder does have a very unique feature called “On Fumes” which really sets it apart from other apps.  This feature is something you can utilize when you’re running extremely low on gas.  You simply tap the “On Fumes” button and it will provide you with directions to the nearest gas station regardless of price, and also provides a directory with phone numbers to helpful services such as AAA and insurance company help lines.  While you don’t have to subscribe, you do have to pay a one time fee of $2.99 to download the app.  While it does have occasional errors and sometimes fails to list certain gas stations it is typically reliable and the “On Fumes” feature is something you won’t find in other apps.

RoadAhead – Not only does this app provide you with listings for the nearest gas stations sorted by price, but it also lists nearby hotels, rest stops, and restaurants!  If you’re on a long drive, this app will definitely come in handy if you’re looking for a snack or need to use the restroom.  The app typically relies on GPS to locate you, however if you can’t get a signal you can select the state you’re in, the highway you’re on, and the next exit.  Some complaints about this app are that the GPS sometimes fails and there are occasional crashes.  If you can deal with that, then this app is a great resource whether you are driving cross country or just on a day trip to the beach.  The best part?  It’s free!

Once you decide which app is right for you, download it and hit the road!  All of these apps will help you find the nearest gas station, or you can sort through them by price.  Whichever one you choose, you will definitely be thankful you have it when you need to fill up!

Photo By: valeehill

 

 

 

Fun February Vacation Ideas!

coco keys

February vacation week is here!  For all of you parents that are about to enter panic mode don’t worry; we’ve come up with a bunch of fun activities that your kids will love to do over their vacation!  Whether you get to spend a little extra time with them this week, or if you have to work while they get to play, these activities will keep them laughing and staying out of trouble, what more can you ask for?

Amesbury Sports Park – What kid doesn’t enjoy playing in the snow? Take the kids over to Amesbury Sports Park this week for a fun-filled day of snow tubing!  They even have special school vacation hours and will be open from 10 AM – 9PM, February 16th – March 2nd and will be open from 9 AM – 7 PM on March 3rd.   A 3 hour tubing pass is $24 and a 5 hour pass is $32 so by the end of the day your little ones will definitely be tuckered out.  After a day on the slopes stop by the Corner Kick Pub for some pizza and hot chocolate!

CoCo Key Water Resort – Take a drive to the CoCo Key Water Resort in Fitchburg and spend the day pretending it’s summer vacation!  Tickets are going fast but there are still day passes available ($30 each) for next weekend!  If you’re a night owl you can get a “Twilight Pass” for $20 and swim from 4PM- 9PM any day this week!  Who wouldn’t love splashing the day away inside their 84 degree water park?  The 55,000 sq foot park includes three 40-ft tube slides, an adventure river, indoor/outdoor spa, activity pool, and much more!  The park has activities that are suitable for children of all ages and even has an arcade.  Grab your flip flops, pack up the kids, and get your tickets while they last!

Basketball Hall Of Fame – The sports fan(s) in your family will love this outing.  Take a drive to Springfield this week and check out the Basketball Hall of Fame!  There are exciting events going on each day this week in honor of February vacation including  a performance from Ilze Luneau and her daughters who have displayed their skills on The Ellen Degeneres Show, Jay Leno, and ESPN!  You can check out the full program here.  Besides the special evens, the Hall of Fame is home to 40,000 sq feet of basketball history and features interactive exhibits, live clinics, and shooting contests so your superstar will be busy for hours.  Tickets are $19 for adults, $15 for seniors (ages 65 and above), $14 for children (ages 5-15), and free for children under 4.  The Hall of Fame is open until 4PM weeknights this week so get there early and be sure you have enough time to see everything!

Sky Zone – This is every kids’ dream!  A place where the floor and walls are lined with trampolines, where kids and adults alike can bounce around all day and maybe even play a game of 3-D dodgeball!  Why not try a SkyRobics fitness class or take part in open jump?  Whether your children are younger or teenagers they will definitely enjoy a day at Sky Zone and the best part is that they have multiple locations.  Located in Everett, Boston, and Providence, RI, Sky Zone is conveniently located within driving distance for all Massachusetts residents.  Take a drive to one of their locations today, your children will be entertained for hours!

Keep these exciting locations in mind when coming up with ideas for February vacation week activities!  These events will appeal to children of all ages and tickets are going fast so get yours while you still can!

Photo By: Theme Park Mom

 

 

 

 

February Events In The Bay State!

Need some entertainment to get you through these cold winter days?  Look no further!  Even though it’s been pretty gloomy out there are still tons of events going on in Boston and we’ve found some of the best ones.  If you like music, animals, sports, or eating (that should cover everyone) you won’t be disappointed!  Grab your loved ones and check out these events before cabin fever sets in!

Poe’s Kitchen Burrito Bowl III – Who doesn’t like a good burrito now and then?  This is your chance to get the BEST burrito in Boston as top chefs from the area compete at the Rattlesnake Bar and Grill in the 3rd annual Burrito Bowl!  Keeping in the Superbowl spirit, each chef will create an original burrito reflecting the city of their favorite NFL team. Each burrito will be served bowl-style instead of as a wrap, and will be judged by attendees as well as guest “referees”.  Chefs in the running are Tremont 647’s Andy Husbands; Poe’s Kitchen At The Rattlesnake’s Shawn Russell; Estelle’s Southern Cuisine’s Eric Gburski; The Tip Tap Room’s Brian Poe; Taranta’s Jose Duarte; Church’s Josh Rush; Boloco’s Jason Hutchinson; and the reigning Burrito Bowl champ, Brian Roche of Lolita.  The event is this Saturday, February 2nd and tickets are $20.

Boston Harbor Seal Watch – Yes you read that right, a seal, not whale watch in Boston Harbor!  The next seal watch is Saturday, February 2nd and departs from two locations; the Quincy Shipyard at 10:15 AM and from the Long Wharf in Boston at 11 AM.  The tours are an hour and a half and cost $20 per ticket for adults ages 13-64, $15 for children ages 4-12 and seniors (65+), and free for children under 3.   Harbor seals spend their time in Boston from late December until early March, they love the cold water!  They are extremely intelligent and spend their time hunting for fish and sunbathing on the rocks and now is your chance to see them in their natural habitat!  Sponsored by the Boston Harbor Alliance and Boston’s Best Cruises this harbor adventure won’t leave you disappointed.

The Beanpot Hockey Tournament – Every local knows that the first two Monday nights in February are the biggest nights in Boston hockey, the Beanpot tournament!  Get your tickets while you can and watch the Harvard, Boston College, Boston University, and Northeastern hockey teams compete in this tournament where the winner will have bragging rights until the next tournament!  This has been a staple event in the world of Boston sports since 1952 and encourages a little healthy competition between local colleges.  The first night of games begins on Monday, February 4th at 5 PM when Boston University and Northeastern square off, followed by Boston College vs. Harvard at 8 PM.  On Monday, February 11th there will be a consolation game at 4:30 PM before the championship game begins at 7:30!  Do you think Boston College will remain the champs or will someone else beat them for the title?

Cry Me A River (The Valentines Hangover Dance Party) – Even though his newest single was a little weak, everyone knows Justin Timberlake is a heavy hitter in the entertainment industry.  Although we can’t promise you JT himself, we can get you pretty close.  The one and only Justin Timberlake cover band, The Timberfakes are performing Friday, February 15th at the Hard Rock Cafe in Boston!  Whether you’re recovering from Valentine’s day or just looking for a good time, you won’t want to miss this dance party celebration.  Tickets are $12 per person so get them before they sell out!

Don’t let this weather keep you from getting out of the house!  Grab your friends, family, or plan a date night and head out to one of these awesome events this month!

Photo By: Dick Howe Jr

 

 

Are You Saving On Your Insurance In The New Year? Find Out What Discounts You May Be Eligible For!

It’s a new year and we’re busy writing new policies over here at MassDrive, but we want to make sure that you know what discounts you could be getting so you can save as much as possible!  There are many discounts available however the percentage that you can save does vary by carrier and is different for everyone, however there is an average range that most companies use and we’ve come up with the following breakdown of discounts:

  • Companion Policy Discount:  This is typically the largest discount you can get on your auto and homeowner’s policies and you get it simply by having your auto and homeowner’s insurance with the same carrier.  You can also receive this discount with renter’s or condo policies as well!  This discount can save you up to 10% on your auto policy and up to 20% on your homeowner’s, renter’s or condo policy!  Some (not all) companies even offer you a discount if you have your auto policy with them and a homeowner’s policy elsewhere, however this discount can only be applied to homeowner’s policies (not renter’s or condo) and is much smaller, typically only up to 4%.
  • Good Student Discount – This discount applies to both high school and college students and can usually save you about 10% on your auto policy but can even get as high as 15%!  However, there are some stipulations; the student must be full time and have a GPA of 3.0 or higher.  The other catch is that they have to have less than 6 years of driving experience to be eligible.  If you’re a student with your own policy or are a parent with a student on your policy, definitely ask your agent about the good student discount!  If you meet the requirements, it’s an easy way to save big bucks on your policy!
  • Low Mileage Discount – The less you drive the more you save!  The discount you can get varies and is broken down into tiers based on your annual mileage.  You can typically get the biggest discount (up to 12%) if you drive less than 7,500 miles.  After that the next tier is 7,501-10,000 miles, then 10,001-12,500 miles, but if you drive over 12,501 miles you won’t receive a discount from most companies.  The discount gets lower as you move past each tier but is a great way to save!
  • Pay In Full Discount – This one is pretty self explanatory, if you pay your auto premium in full you can save up to 5%!
  • AAA Discount – If you’re a AAA member you are eligible for up to a 5% discount with most insurance companies!  AAA is a great service to have, you never know when the unexpected may occur and you may need a tow, which can be pretty expensive if you have to pay for it out of pocket.  Getting the discount is simple, you just scan a copy of your membership card and send it over to your agent and the discount can be applied.
  • Advanced Issue Discount – This discount is a great incentive to start shopping early for insurance!  If your policy is issued at least 7 days before the coverage become effective, you can save up to 5% on your policy!
  • eDocument Discount – Receiving your policy documents electronically can get you up to 5% discount on your policy!  Go green while saving yourself some green!
  • EFT Discount – This typically goes hand in hand with the eDocument discount, but you don’t necessarily have to have both.  EFT (electronic funds transfer) allows the carrier to take your monthly payment directly from your bank account, and it can save you about $60 per year!  If you choose to remain on a standard payment plan where the bills are mailed to you, most companies charge a $5-$6 installment fee each payment (most policies typically have 10 payment installments), so the savings can really add up if you’re on the EFT payment plan which may charge a minimal to no installment fee.
  • Multi-Car Discount – If you have more than one car, you can save up to 8% by having all of your vehicles on one policy.
  • Good Driver Discount – This is offered to drivers that have a good driving record and varies from case to case.  It is based on your SDIP rating, or how many points you have on your record and can be one of the biggest discounts available to drivers depending on your record.

Next time you’re shopping for insurance, give us a call at MassDrive!  All of our agents are extremely informed and will make sure you are getting as many discounts as possible!

Photo By: sunshinecity

Keeping Your New Year’s Resolution!

Well we’re halfway through the first month of the New Year and we want to know, how are you all doing with your resolutions?  Have you fallen off the wagon already or are you still powering along?  If you’re having trouble sticking to your resolutions for the new year or just need some positive reinforcement, we’ve come up with a few tips to keep you motivated and get you one step closer to reaching your goals!

  • Limit the number of resolutions you make.  You can only do so much and make so many changes in one year, so it’s best to stick with 2 or 3 new goals, any more than that would probably get a tad overwhelming.
  • Be realistic, don’t set unreasonable goals that are nearly impossible to achieve.  You don’t want to start off the new year by automatically setting yourself up for failure.  For example, if you want to make more money, don’t start off the new year by saying you want to become a millionaire.  Instead, make a plan to find a better job that would lead to a pay raise, or try taking a second job if need be.  Whatever you do, pick a resolution that you can plan ahead for and outline the steps you’ll take to achieve that goal.
  • Make a step by step plan to reach your resolution.  Starting small and outlining changes to make in your daily life sets a reasonable goal for yourself and makes your resolution that much more attainable.  Say you want to work out more often and lose some weight, get specific and outline the nights of the week and times that you want to hit the gym and set a resonable goal for the amount of pounds you want to lose.  Or if you want to get better at sports, make a plan to practice more with your teammates or find times to work out on your own.
  • Talk about it!  By filling in your friends and family on your resolution for the new year, they can help keep you motivated and become your support system!  If you don’t talk about your resolution with others, you won’t feel any shame if you don’t stick with it, but when others are asking about it and you have to answer to them as well, it can help keep you on the right track!
  • Track your progress!  Keep a journal, write a blog, or just keep sharing your updates via social media, whatever you do, writing down your progress is another way to keep you motivated!  When you can actually see the progress and improvements you’re making on paper, it’s that much more empowering and all the more reason to keep up the good work!  Not to mention sharing your progress via social media opens you up for feedback and positive well wishes from your friends and family!
  • Reward yourself!  If you’re seeing progress and have been successful in your resolution(s) thus far, there’s no harm in rewarding yourself!  You don’t have to reward yourself with something that contradicts your resolution though.  Say you wanted to get in better shape and lose some weight, if you’ve been successful so far then don’t head for the cookies as a reward, instead, why not treat yourself to a new outfit that highlights your success?

Sticking to your resolution can be tough, but hopefully with these tips you will be one step closer to achieving your goals for the new year!  Keep these hints in mind next time you’re tempted to fall off the wagon, even if your resolution doesn’t pan out at first, there’s no reason why you can’t start over again at any point in the year!

Photo By: CherryPoint

Follow These Tips To Fight The Flu This Winter!

Is it just us or is EVERYONE coming down with the flu this year?  It seems worse than ever and there have already been over 700 confirmed cases in Boston!  Boston has even declared a public health emergency as of Wednesday.   If you’ve ever had the flu, you know how miserable it can be, and if you haven’t had it consider yourself lucky because you definitely don’t want it!  The aches, pains, chills, fever, and vomiting are enough to knock anyone down for a few days.  So, what can you do to prevent the onset of the flu?  Follow these tips to minimize your chances of coming down with it!

  • Get your flu shot!  It’s not too late and did you know they are available in every CVS store?  This is your best defense against the flu and the Food and Drug Administration is recommending that everyone 6 months or older get their flu shot.
  • Practice basic sanitation.  This includes washing your hands after going to the bathroom,sneezing, or coughing.  When you wash your hands use hot water and plenty of soap, it should take you about 30 seconds to wash your hands thoroughly.  Be sure to cover your mouth when you cough or sneeze, and if you have children, make sure they are doing the same!  Germs spread especially quickly amongst children so it is very important that they understand how critical it is to wash their hands and cover their mouths.
  • Get your 7-8 hours of sleep!  You need to get plenty of rest to fight off the flu, it helps keep your immune system strong so it is especially important to get enough sleep during this time of year when sickness is on the rise.
  • Drink your fluids!  Whether you have the flu or are trying to prevent it, your body needs to stay as hydrated as possible.  Water helps carry important nutrients to cells so you should try to drink 8 oz of water for every hour that you’re awake.  Orange Juice is another great option that you want in your refrigerator because of the immune boosting Vitamin C it provides.
  • Avoid sugar.  Did you know that sugar can actually decrease your immune system’s ability to fight off infection?  So put down those left over holiday treats and back away slowly!
  • Try to eat as many fruits and veggies as possible, they contain tons of vitamins and nutrients that help your immune system stay at the top of it’s game.   Blueberries, apples, oranges, strawberries, spinach, and garlic are especially high in vitamins that benefit your immune system.
  • Exercise!  Yet another activity that helps keep your immune system strong and ready to take on the flu.  Yes we know how cold it is outside, but you still need to find a way to get in gear and get active!  Whether you hit the slopes, go ice skating, or head to the gym just do something that gets your heart pumping a little faster than usual.
  • If you do come down with the flu, stay home!  Trying to go into school or the office will only spread the disease to your classmates or coworkers and will not speed up your recovery, if anything it will slow it down!

With cases of the flu on the rise, it is more important than ever to take care of yourself and do what you can to prevent the spread of it!  Sometimes there is just nothing you can do and you may come down with the flu even if you do follow all of our tips.  Remember, children and the elderly are especially at risk for the flu so get your children vaccinated and talk to your parents and/or grandparents about getting their vaccine!

Photo By: NHSE

Perfect Car Gift Ideas Right In Time For Christmas!

For all of you trying to squeeze in some last minute shopping before Christmas, have you thought about getting some car related gifts for your loved ones?  Many of us (especially the men in our lives) love our cars.  It’s not too often that people get to splurge and deck out their ride, especially when everyone is so busy decking the halls this time of year.  Why not pick out one of these items for the car lover in your life, it’s a nice thought and they will be sure to think of you (in a good way), next time they go out for a drive!

Emergency Kit – This idea is practical and easy to make on your own if you don’t want to risk ordering it and not having it delivered in time for Christmas.  There are many different great brands available on Amazon and it is convenient having a kit already put together, but if you want to guarantee that it will be here in time for Christmas then why not build your own?  The majority of these items can be found at your local hardware store and typically include; a reflective vest, first aid kid, jumper cables, roadside flares, blanket, flashlight with extra batteries, all in one screwdriver, bungee cord, extra quart of oil, tire pressure gauge, duct tape, a pocket knife, and some bottled water and energy bars should you get stranded for a while.  This is something every driver should have in their car and the recipient will definitely be glad they have it should they break down this winter!

Phone Gadgets – These days, people use their phones for everything!  Directions, music, and of course communicating with friends and family are a must, and there are so many cool accessories out there that make it easier than ever!  One great item that anyone would love is an iPod or MP3 Player Car Connector, it allows drivers to plug this device into their car and then connect it to their iPod or MP3 player and enjoy their own music without having to sit through commercials on the radio!  There are many different types of adapters, for older cars, the easiest one to use is most likely a cassette adapter which is put into a tape player like a tape, and has a cord that connects to the audio jack on your listening device.  There are many additional options for newer cars that do not have a cassette player, and BestBuy has a great selection of adapters that would work for all cars and MP3 players.  Another great gift idea?  A docking station that allows drivers to mount their phone on their dashboard lets drivers to keep their phone in view and easily accessible, BestBuy has a great selection of these as well.

GPS – This is something that every car owner should have!  You never know when you may find yourself headed down a dark unfamiliar road, and in that situation you would definitely want to avoid getting lost and driving in circles.  This would also be a great gift if you know someone who is moving or going away to college in a different state.  Some of the most popular brands are Garmin, TomTom, and Magellan and prices typically range from $100-$200 although there are some that are more expensive and have advanced features.  This article from CNet outlines the top 5 GPS navigation devices on the market this year and details their features and benefits which makes your research much easier!

Accessories – We know that guys are not exactly concerned with picking out the perfect belt or watch to wear out on Friday night, but when it comes to cars they love accessories as much as the ladies so you can’t go wrong with some car bling this year.  Why not grab some classic sheepskin seat covers or a steering wheel cover?  Floor mats are also a great gift to help keep the car clean.  You can usually find them with some type of design on them if you so desire, and guys will love the selection of sport-themed floor mats that you can find on sportsfloormats.com.  They have mats with the logos from the NFL, MLB, NHL, NBA, NCAA and even Military themed mats.

You can’t go wrong with any of these gifts, all of them are practical and easy to use, even for those that aren’t so tech savvy.  These are also great options for last minute gifts if you’re having trouble coming up with ideas, so get out to the stores and finish up that holiday shopping before time runs out!

Photo By: AMagill

 

 

 

 

 

 

Winter Driving Tips

snow driving

Whether you’re excited for the snow or not, it’s important to be sure you are staying safe!  Keep these tips in mind when venturing out into the snow this winter, for many of you these tips are refreshers but it’s always good to have a reminder to stay safe!

  • If you must venture out onto icy or snowy roads, wait until after the sand trucks and plows have gone by.  They should be able to break down the worst of the snow and will make it much easier for you in the long run.  Even if you have to wait a while for them to service your street, trying to drive on roads that have not been plowed or sanded is not only dangerous, but will take much longer anyways so staying inside until the plows and sanding trucks have gone by is worth the wait.
  • If you are on the road with plows and sanding trucks, DO NOT try to pass them.  Many of them have limited visibility, especially if it is snowing out.  Even though they are pretty slow, the plus side to being behind one of these trucks is that the road will be freshly plowed or sanded and that much easier to navigate.
  • Give yourself extra time to arrive at your destination, there is no doubt that the snow or ice on the road will slow you down or create traffic, so be sure to leave with plenty of time to spare.
  • Decrease your speed and leave more than enough room between yourself and the car in front of you in case you have to stop.  You don’t want to skid out on  ice and rear end the person in front of you, an accident in which you would be at fault!
  • Ride the brake when driving in snow or ice, it will help you avoid skidding out and will keep you at a safe speed!  If you do start to skid out or your wheels lock up, slowly ease up on the brake until you come to a stop.
  • If there is any type of precipitation, make sure that your lights are on.  Even if it is still light out,  rain or snow can limit visibility for many drivers so you want to make every effort to remain visible on the road.
  • If you know in advance that it’s going to snow, be sure that your windshield wipers are working properly, you don’t want to get caught in the middle of a storm with a malfunctioning wiper blade!
  • Make sure you have an ice scraper in your car!  You don’t want to get stuck waiting inside your car while the defroster melts the ice on your windows.
  • Be extra careful on bridges and overpasses, these tend to freeze first and even though there may not be any ice on other parts of the road, these areas are notorious for black ice so reduce your speed and remain aware when traveling over these.
  • If your vehicle has four-wheel drive, use it!  It may use up more gas but will make your commute through the snow much easier and will provide more traction and decrease your chances of skidding out.

The most important piece of advice we can offer is to stay indoors!  Don’t drive on roads that are snowy and icy unless you absolutely must, and if you do then make sure that you are properly insured and know who to call should anything happen!  If you have any questions or would like a quick quote give us a call at MassDrive!  Our agents would be happy to answer any and all questions you may have and will make every effort to get you the lowest premium possible!

Special thanks to weather.com for many of these tips!

Photo By: Ruthanne Reid

 

Pick The Perfect Christmas Tree!

It’s that time of year again, time to hunt through a giant lot of trees in search of the perfect one to grace your home.  It’s an endeavor that families across the country take on each and every year, and sometimes finding the perfect tree can be more difficult than you think!  There’s surprisingly a lot to consider; height, length, pine needles, the list goes on and on but once you’ve found the perfect tree the fun can begin!  Keep these tips in mind when making your selection this holiday season!

  • Before you pick the perfect tree, make sure it will fit!  Measure the ceiling height in the room where you will be displaying your tree, and once you do choose a tree, make sure it is a foot shorter than the ceiling (bring a tape measure).  This will give you enough space to factor in the tree stand and should still leave you with enough room to place a tree topper on the highest point.
  • Be sure that your tree is fresh!  You don’t want to pick a tree that is dry and brittle with all of the needles about to fall off (and create a huge mess).  When you find a tree that you’re interested in, give it a good shake.  If it is fresh the needles should stay on for the most part, if it’s drying out, a lot of the needles will fall off.
  • Make sure the base of the tree is straight and will fit in your tree stand.  If it is warped and shaped strangely it will be very difficult to get it to stand upright in the stand, let alone stay in place for a few weeks.  It would be a good idea to measure your tree stand and find out if the opening is big enough for the base of the tree, another great use for that tape measure!
  • Now here comes the tricky part; getting your tree home.  Unless you own a pick up truck, this can be a very stressful task!  Most tree farms have staff on hand that can help you lift your  tree onto the roof and secure it.  Your best bet is to use bungee cords.  Once the tree is securely on top of the car, roll down the windows so that you can wrap the bungee cords over the tree, through the windows and under the roof so that the tree will stay in place.  Securing it at the top and bottom is your best bet, and be sure to wrap the bungee cord around the tree as many times as possible so it is held in tightly.  It may be a good idea to do a few laps around the parking lot with your tree just to be sure it is safe for the ride home.
  • Once you do arrive home with your tree, the fun and decorating can begin!  If you have a lot of ornaments, try to put the heavy ones near the top of the tree where the branches are thickest and strongest, smaller ornaments that are lightweight can be placed near the bottom of the tree.
  • You also have to take care of your tree if you want it to last through the holiday season, and that means lots of water.  Trees can drink a few quarts each day so it’s a good idea to check your tree throughout the day and make sure the stand still has water in it.  This will keep the needles from drying out too quickly and making a giant mess on your floor.

Once you’ve chosen your tree, transported it home, decorated and watered it, sit back and enjoy!  There’s nothing better than listening to some Christmas carols, drinking hot chocolate, and curling up by a beautiful tree so enjoy it while you can!

Photo By: liljulier

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