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Driving Under the Influence…On a Wheelchair?

Did you know you can get pulled over for “driving” related issues even if you are not driving a car? Just because you are not behind the wheel of a car doesn’t mean you won’t get pulled over for a a DUI or other charge. There have been cases all over the country where “drivers” have been cited for reckless driving and driving under the influence even when they’re not driving a car!

In Sterling Heights, Michigan, Raymond Kulma was pulled over on a stolen wheelchair and was arrested for his 7th DUI. Police were called after an altercation Raymond had with his neighbor, and when they arrived, Raymond stole his neighbor’s motorized wheelchair and took off. After the police caught up to him, they tested his blood alcohol concentration at .241 on the breathalyzer (over 3 times the legal limit), and gave him a sobriety test which he failed miserably. Even after this arrest, Raymond Kulma’s license has been suspended another 4 times and revoked 2 times.

While a motorized wheelchair is probably the strangest object we’ve heard someone get pulled over on, there have been other strange incidents. For example, in Jackson Wisconsin, a sixty-nine year old man named Charles Gray went to jail for driving under the influence on his John Deer tractor! The police pulled him over while he was on his way to the local Walgreens store. This was his fourth offense of operating while intoxicated.

Zamboni.comOn January 30 2012, in Minnesota, Joel Bruss was arrested for a DUI at a local ice skating rink. He was caught drunk at the wheel of a Zamboni. You know, that huge machine that they use to resurface the ice? Onlookers knew something was wrong when Mr. Bruss slammed the machine into the sidewalls of the rink. When the police arrived they found that Bruss and the Zamboni were balanced half on the ice and half out. He was arrested (blood alcohol content was 4 times the legal limit) and sentenced to two years probation. This was Joel Bruss’s 3rd DUI and needless to say he lost his job at the ice rink and will not be put behind another Zamboni in his lifetime.

As you can see there is a pattern here… repeat offenders thinking they can avoid problems if they use alternate forms of transportation. It’s not that it’s common knowledge that you could get arrested on a wheelchair, tractor or Zamboni, but we should all know that the only safe option if you are intoxicated is to find a designated, sober driver to take the wheel (whatever that wheel may operate).

Thanksgiving – Your Home and Car’s Nightmare

Thanksgiving is the day of the year when the most fire insurance claims are reported in the United States. It is also one of the busiest days of the year for travelling. This means, unfortunately, more accidents happen around this time of the year. So before you buy your turkey, or you pack up your kids to go to Grandma’s house, take a minute to review your car insurance or homeowner’s insurance policies.

Nothing can ruin your Thanksgiving day feast more than a kitchen fire. These fires are typically caused from having too much oil in the turkey frying pot, throwing in a large cold turkey, and causing overflows. Deep frying a turkey has become a large trend, and a lot of first time fryers find themselves distracted or ill prepared, causing a huge mess. Many people don’t check out the surrounding area of the cooking turkey, and they place it too close to structures, hanging towels or drapery. Insurance companies advise cooks to carefully review their recipes and make sure they have the proper equipment (especially size of fryer or roaster) before they turn everything on. After you have reviewed your homeowner’s insurance policy, store it in a safe place far away from the kitchen.

The roads just before and after Thanksgiving can be pretty treacherous. It is one of the busiest days of the year for speeding tickets and accidents. Many drivers are in a hurry to beat the crowds and forget to bring a copy of their updated insurance information with them. Not having your correct car insurance documentation can lead to a huge fine if you were to get into a fender bender or get pulled over for any reason. Rushed drivers are one of the leading causes of road accidents. Go a few days earlier and stay an extra day to make sure your journey is smooth and stress free. Be prepared, remember your proof of insurance, and drive carefully.

The holidays are supposed to be a joyful time of the year where we gather with friends and family to celebrate. So this year, make sure you are covered for any mishaps that may be thrown your way.

The Worst Celebrity Drivers

We’ve broken down some of the worst celebrity drivers. Most celebs hire someone to drive for them, but these guys prefer to leave their own trail of car parts scattered all over Hollywood Boulevard and beyond. You name it and they’ve got it: Hit-and-runs, multiple accidents and numerous DUI/DWIs.

Even with all of these infractions and accidents, Vern Fonk knows we’d be able to beat out their current car insurance rates. We know these reckless celebs pay way too much for their insurance premiums (not to mention their lawyer’s fees).

The Worst Celebrity Drivers:

Amanda Bynes

This former Nickelodeon star has been in the news quite regularly in 2012. It seems as though every month this year her name has been plastered across the news for DUIs, texting and talking while driving, driving without her lights on, and multiple hit and runs. Amanda even hit a cop car, and later blamed the officer for pulling out in front of her too quickly.
Britney Spears

Britney Spears doesn’t have any major accidents on her record (at least that we know of) but that doesn’t mean she’s a good driver.

In 2006, Britney was spotted holding her infant son, Sean Preston, on her lap while driving around Los Angeles. She later that day was seen putting the baby back in his car seat but facing the wrong way. The photos captured by the paparazzi seemed to start a downward spiral for the pop star. She then, in 2007, was charged for a hit and run (without a valid driver’s license), running a red light, hitting a photographer and running over a police officer’s foot. In 2008 she was involved in a minor accident, but hasn’t had any more accidents reported since.

Nicole Richie

Nicole doesn’t have quite the long rap sheet as some of the other socialites/celebs on this list, but what she was cited for was what helped her make this list. In 2006 she failed the sobriety test and admitted to taking Vicodin and smoking marijuana. Nicole was pulled over because she was trying to get on the freeway by going up the exit ramp. She served 4 days in jail.

Paris Hilton

In 2006 Paris was arrested for a DUI. She got her driver’s license suspended and was charged with reckless driving. Her probation was thirty six months and she had to pay a $1500 fine. A few months into her suspension she was pulled over. A month later (still suspended) she had to make a quick trip somewhere and tried to chance it, but it was night time and she didn’t turn on her lights. Oh yeah, and she thought that no one would notice that she was going 70 miles per hour in a 35 zone.
Billy Joel

As the only person on our list over 30, Billy Joel has had his first run in with the police in 1983 (before some of the other drivers on this list were born!). He was part of a motorcycle accident in 1983. Then later, in 2002 he had 2 wrecks in the exact same spot! The first was when he was driving home, he crashed his Mercedes into a fire wall, totaling it and forcing him to go to rehab. The second time was again in a Mercedes, about 6 months later, when he crashed into a tree only a few feet away from the fire wall he hit earlier. Two years later he jumped a curb and crashed his car (a Citroen 2CV, one of the slowest, most un-crashible-ist cars there are) into a house.

Lindsay Lohan

Lindsay’s car troubles started when she was 20. Her car was pulled over and she got a DUI and was charged with possesion of cocaine. She went to treatment for alcohol abuse and 10 days later got arrested for another DUI, was caught driving with a suspended license, and again had cocaine on her.

In 2010 Lindsay alledgedly ran a red light and hit a woman and a baby in a stroller. And in 2011, an officer pulled her over for failing to stop at a stop sign. Later that year she crashed her Porsche into the back of a truck, and a month later she crashed the same model of Porsche (now rented) into another car. Maybe it’s time she hired a driver?

Everyone needs auto insurance, even these celebrities. Don’t be shy, if you’ve got a peppered driving history, even like some of the people we’ve mentioned above, talk with a licensed Vern Fonk auto insurance agent today to get the right auto insurance for your budget.

Hurricane Sandy – A Trail of Damaged Vehicles

In late October 2012 Hurricane Sandy was the largest Atlantic hurricane on record. It had left a trail of devastation in parts of the Caribbean  the Mid-Atlantic United States and Northeastern United States. It had affected at least 24 states from Maine to Florida, with most of the damage hitting New Jersey and New York. Sandy has left more than eight million homes without power. Over 120 people were reported dead. Millions of business still are not up and running.

The Superstorm Sandy has been said to have sent at least 250,000 new and used vehicles to the junk yard. While this may come as great news to those in auto sales, many under insured motorists are wishing they were had been more prepared.

While many residents took care of boarding up their windows and putting sandbags out in front of their homes or business, they had forgotten about their cars. There isn’t much a vehicle owner can do to avoid the damage of their vehicle in a natural disaster. Many car owners tried moving their cars away from potential dangers such as trees and power lines but still suffered damage from the colossal flooding.

Heavy flooding from Superstorm Sandy left a trail of stranded cars all over the roads. Many vehicles had been pushed down stream or even turned over from the flood’s massive currents. Vehicle damage from flooding can be extremely extensive. You can dry out a car completely and still have electrical issues, smelly odors, and silt deep in the seats or carpets. These repairs are usually very expensive to fix. Generally speaking, if the waterline goes past the floorboards or where the electrical components are, it can mean that the car is considered totaled.

Flood damage to a car is typically covered by a vehicles comprehensive insurance plan. Many drivers in the path of Sandy’s devastation were not prepared with adequate car insurance and have to now deal with the consequences.

You never know when a natural disaster will strike. Be prepared with the best car insurance and make sure you, your car, your home and your loved ones are covered for these surprise nature attacks.