Covid-19 Update

We are Open for you and we all will endure. it will take all of us and some of it painful, but we are all in this together. Be Safe – Lets beat this thing! here are a couple informational relevant links for everyone;

US Chamber of Commerce:
White House Guide to prevention

Corona Virus Federal steps

Disaster Small Bus admin Link

Business relief Guidance Federal page 

Health and Human Services

Massachusetts Covid-19 site

Unemployment & COVID-19
Dept. Of Transitional Assistance Online Portal
 Emergency Childcare Site

Complete List of Emergency Orders & Guidance

Downey Insurance – Insurance Companies Emergency Numbers

How to safely disinfect your Car

Interim Guidance for Businesses and Employers

Be and Stay safe!

A little extra caution can go a long way while driving at night

Summer has ended, and while fall and winter have their own pleasure, longer nights mean increased danger on the roads.

You might think you drive just as well at night, but consider this: Even though nighttime driving accounts for just 23% of vehicle miles traveled, more than 50% of fatalities for vehicle occupants 16 and older occur between 6 p.m. and 6 a.m., according to the National Safety Commission (NSC).

Because we’re big advocates for safety at Downey Insurance Group, we thought it would be helpful to take a look at why night driving is more dangerous, and what you can do to decrease that danger.

What’s dangerous about night driving?

  1. Decreased vision. We won’t go into all the biological details, but different parts of the eye (such as iris, pupil and retina) work differently at night. Your peripheral vision is actually slightly improved, but it’s more difficult to focus on objects ahead of you. And traveling between well-lit areas and darker roads creates issues as well.
  2. Driving too fast for your headlights. Depending on vehicle speed and headlight setting, many people “over-drive” their headlights. That means, by the time they see something on the road, it’s too late to stop in time to avoid it.
  3. Impaired judgment. Whether due to drowsiness or the use of alcohol or drugs, it appears that drivers at night often don’t use good judgment. According to the NSC, 66% of fatalities at night involve vehicle occupants who weren’t wearing seat belts.

So what do you do?

Sometimes, there’s no way around driving at night. So here are some tips to help you make a safe trip — whether you’re just running to the store, or you’re headed north to see the fall foliage.

  1. Make sure your vehicle’s lights are in good working condition. And not just headlights, but turn signals, taillights, etc.
  2. Avoid speeding. Leave a bigger cushion between you and other cars than you would during daylight hours. Leave yourself more time for the trip.
  3. Be more aware of your surroundings. You shouldn’t be using your phone, messing around with the radio or trying to find something on the floor while you’re on the road anyway — and distractions are even more deadly at night.

Of course, if you’re not comfortable driving at night, the best thing is to avoid it altogether if possible. There’s nothing wrong with asking for a ride from a trusted safe driver or waiting for the sun to come out!

We’re open all day!  Contact Us!

When you’re driving around during the day, stop in to Downey Insurance Group for a review of your auto insurance coverage. We won’t keep you after dark, we promise. Just give us a call at 508-485-0130. We’re here to help! We want to help you meet your goals, and make sure what’s important to you is protected!

Your chance to win prize money!

As an appreciated Downey client, we are writing to let you know about two offers for your business. Nationwide, our newly added carrier, has announced a small business contest, and the Massachusetts Department of Industrial Accidents is now accepting grant applications – both programs offer you the opportunity to earn prize money to support your business.  See below!

 Nationwide announces small business contest

Your small business is your pride and joy. It’s your baby. But how do you help it grow? Enter the Pitch to Win contest, brought to you by Nationwide® and BlueVine®, and watch your small business take big steps.


An executive panel of judges will review all applications based on the contest rules and these three main judging criteria:

  1. Your business:  Which business owner best meets a real need in the marketplace through a unique product(s) and/or service?
  2. Your story:  Which business owner has best communicated their story regarding why they decided to start their business?
  3. Your pitch:  Which business owner has the most compelling concept for how they would use $100,000 to take their company to the next level?

Click Here to enter today!

Free commercial crash prevention training – apply for your grant today!  

Are you a commercial organization interested in free commercial vehicle crash prevention training for your employees? The “Workplace Safety Training and Education Grant Program” offered by the Massachusetts Department of Industrial Accidents is designed to fund programs that reduce the risk of injury and illness to workers and to promote safe and healthy conditions in the workplace through training, education, and other preventative programs, including commercial vehicle crash prevention training.

These grants are capped at $25,000 and will not pay for employees’ wages, but will pay 100% of training expenses and a portion of administrative expenses related to the grant (completing the application, organizing the training, etc).

Click here for grant application information.

Applications are being accepted May 6, 2019 through September 27, 2019.



Distracted Driving Habit Is Proving Tough for Americans to Break

Interesting read from Insurance Journal. about distracted driving —

Nearly eight in 10 consumers talk on the phone while driving and more than 30 percent admit to having been in a near-miss crash because they were distracted.

Also, although distracted driving poses potential liability risks for companies, many expect employees to remain connected and do little to discourage such behaviors behind the wheel.

Travelers Companies announced these and other results of its 2019 Travelers Risk Index, which surveyed more than 2,000 consumers and executives about distracted driving and the reasons behind it.

The Travelers Risk Index identified common distractions when behind the wheel, including:

  • Typing a text or email (44 percent).
  • Using social media (23 percent).
  • Recording videos or taking photos (22 percent).
  • Shopping online (15 percent).

“It’s startling to see that drivers continue to engage in potentially life-threatening habits,” said Chris Hayes, second vice president of Transportation, Risk Control at Travelers. “Whether driving for work or on personal time, many drivers overlook risks that make our roads more dangerous for all of us.”

Some drivers say it would be difficult to stop such behaviors. Thirteen percent of respondents say they would find it very difficult to stop reading texts or emails while driving, and 11 percent say it would be difficult to stop typing texts or emails while driving. In addition, five percent of respondents say they would find it very difficult to stop shopping online while driving.

Nineteen percent say they would still drive distracted even if it was against the law.

(Recent research out of the School of Public Health at Texas A&M University and published in the American Journal of Public Health — Texting-While-Driving Bans and Motor Vehicle Crash–Related Emergency Department Visits in 16 US States: 2007–2014— suggests that laws against texting may make a difference. The study found that crash-related emergency room visits fell four percent on average from 2007 to 2014 in states that prohibit texting while driving. Crash-related injuries dropped eight percent in states that placed primary bans on texting while driving, the study found.)

Although many smartphones have settings to help drivers stay focused, most drivers do not use these features. Consistent with last year’s index from the insurer, only 12 percent of consumers set their phones to Do Not Disturb while driving. In fact, of those respondents who do not activate the Do Not Disturb feature, 41 percent actively choose not to turn it on, while others simply forget to turn it on or find it inconvenient to do so (35 percent), according to the survey.

Workplace Accountability

The 2019 index also suggests that many workplaces do not consider the full consequences of distracted driving. According to the National Safety Council, the average economic cost of a crash is more than $1 million per death and more than $78,000 per nonfatal disabling injury. However, 12 percent of executives surveyed do not worry about the liability associated with a crash caused by a distracted employee, and most (74 percent) do not consider distracted driving to be of great concern.

The connected culture and mounting workplace expectations may be contributing to distracted driving. While most businesses report being at least somewhat concerned about employees’ use of mobile devices on the road, an overwhelming majority (87 percent) of executives expect workers to be sometimes or frequently reachable outside of the office. Employees feel this pressure, as 20 percent of respondents who admit to replying to work-related messages while driving say they do so because they worry about upsetting their boss. Further, nearly half of those same respondents say they always need to be available or do not want to miss a work-related emergency. Lastly, 17 percent say drive time is when they get a lot of work done.

“The pressure to always be online and connected can be deadly,” added Hayes. “Even though distraction-related crashes occur frequently, some companies continue to expect constant connectivity without considering what’s at stake.”

According to Travelers, three out of four workplaces have implemented distracted driving policies. However, just 18 percent of businesses advise employees to set their phones to Do Not Disturb before driving, and only 40 percent report knowing of an employee who was disciplined for not complying with company policy.

Passive Passengers

According to the survey, having conversations about driving behavior can make a difference. Sixteen percent of consumers say they rarely or never speak up while in a car with a distracted driver, yet more than half (54 percent) say they would likely cease distracted driving behaviors if they were asked to do so.

Some conversations about distracted driving are already happening: Two-thirds of parents have spoken to their children about distracted driving, and the same amount of companies say they have an employee education program about the dangers of distracted driving and how to avoid it.

About the Travelers survey: Hart Research conducted a national online survey of 1,000 consumers, ages 18 to 69, in March 2019. Separately, Hart surveyed 1,050 executives from businesses of all sizes. Both surveys were commissioned by Travelers.

Daylight Savings Time is also Daylight Safety Time


Sunday, March 10 is Daylight Saving, when clocks are moved forward one hour. We here at Downey Insurance Group want to remind you it’s also a great time to improve your family’s safety.

Be safe in your home

Health and safety agencies often use the approach of Daylight Saving Time to remind people to change the batteries in their smoke alarms. The American Red Cross suggests you test your smoke alarms and talk with your family about your fire escape plan. Practice the plan too – at least twice a year.

Daylight Saving is a great time to check your emergency preparedness kit to make sure it’s fully stocked with fresh supplies.

Carbon Monoxide a concern too

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 400 people die annually in the US from carbon monoxide poisoning. The CDC recommends changing the batteries in your CO detectors when moving your clocks forward this Sunday.

The CDC says the most common symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning include headache, dizziness, weakness, nausea, vomiting, chest pain and confusion.

See the CDC’s site for more ways to prevent carbon monoxide exposure.