Essentials in Preparing Your Motorcycle for Scenic Connecticut Roads

The Winter winds are finally subsiding and the warm open road is waiting for you to get out and ride! But after leaving your ride in storage for the Winter, it’s important when preparing your motorcycle to check all of your safety equipment and review the laws and regulations to ensure your next road trip ends safely.

Motorcycle Laws and Regulations in CT

There are some important motorcycle safety regulations to keep in mind before you take yours out on the Connecticut roads. Eye protection is mandatory unless your vehicle has a windscreen, and if your bike was manufactured after 1980, daytime headlight use is required. Also, remember that riding two abreast in one lane is prohibited.

Licensing Courses

The Connecticut Rider Education Program for Motorcycle Safety offers four skill levels of courses which are available to all riders. You may also be eligible for a 10% discount on your motorcycle insurance policy by completing a rider education course in Connecticut.

Equipment Requirements

Although Connecticut law does not require motorcycle operators over the age of 18 to wear a helmet, doing so is one of the most crucial steps you can take to ensure your safety! According to state motorcycle accident statistics, in more than two-thirds of fatal motorcycle crashes the driver wasn’t wearing a helmet. Don’t skip this simple and essential step! Other requirements in Connecticut include having at least one rear-view mirror and a properly functioning muffler.

Restrictions for Riders Under 18

Riders under the age of 18 years old MUST wear a helmet at all times and are also required to complete a rider education course.

Insurance Requirements

Before you bask in the Spring sunshine, take the time to review your motorcycle insurance policy to make any necessary updates. A compulsory liability insurance policy is the minimum requirement in the state of Connecticut.

Does your current motorcycle insurance policy need to be reviewed or updated? Before you begin preparing your motorcycle for the beauty that New England has to offer during the Spring, contact Waitte’s Insurance Agency today and receive a premium quote!

3 Ways Cold Temperatures Can Damage Your Car

Cold AutoIn New England, fall is in full force; the leaves have changed colors, Thanksgiving preparations have begun, and the air is slowly getting colder and colder as winter approaches. While these changes may signal the approach of the holiday season, however, the colder weather also signifies another change: the increased danger to your car or other vehicles.

Freezing weather brings a unique set of challenges to driving safely and keeping vehicles operational, so it is important to know what kinds of issues you may have to deal with, and how you can effectively respond to them. Last month, we featured an article about ways to safeguard your home from cold East coast winters. Now, we would like for you to take a look at the top three ways that cold weather can damage your car, and what you should do about each one.

­­

1. Your car has trouble starting.

Normal car batteries are meant to withstand weather from 30 to 90 degrees Fahrenheit, so when the temperature drops below the lower end of that range, the battery may stop working, preventing your car from starting. The same effect can occur with your spark plug or other ignition components. In order to prevent this from happening, get your battery and spark plug checked so that you know ahead of time if you should expect any problems, and can act to stop them before they happen.

2. Your transmission fluid (and other liquids) thicken.

Freezing weather thickens liquids, which includes your transmission fluid, antifreeze, brake fluid, and oil. When your transmission fluid is too thick to flow properly, you may have trouble operating your vehicle or getting it to function at all. You should get all of these liquids checked at least once as the cold weather begins to set in so that you can know whether it is safe to drive or not.

3. Tire pressure goes down.

When the temperature drops, most tires lose pressure at a rate of 1 pound per square inch for every 10 degrees Fahrenheit. Lower tire pressure can lead to poor tire performance and damage or failure, which can be especially dangerous in snowy or icy conditions. Do not attempt to drive with low tire pressure. In order to combat this obstacle, check your tire pressure every few weeks, and inflate your tires as necessary.

We want you and your family to remain safe not only in your home during the upcoming holiday season, but when driving as well. Please take the necessary precautions before traveling this winter, and be sure to contact Waitte’s Insurance Agency for any and all accident claims.

Fighting Connecticut Traffic Violations: Is it Worth it?

If you have ever received a traffic ticket, your first instinct may have been to fight it – after all, many people believe that the citation was unjust and that they did not deserve the harsh penalty that they received. However, roughly only 3 percent of drivers who receive traffic citations actually contest them in court, and choosing to do so relies purely on the circumstances surrounding the ticket. You’ll want to ask yourself the following questions before you consider fighting Connecticut traffic violations

1. Is the cost of the ticket worth the expenses it would take to fight it?

Going to court requires taking time off of work, finding reliable transportation, and possibly hiring legal counsel to help you with your court battle. All of these costs combined may be greater than the loss you would incur by just paying the ticket.

2.  Do I have the time to go through the process of fighting it?

Court cases for driving infractions typically don’t drag on for weeks or months like other cases can, but you still must be prepared to take at least one entire day off from work just in case. Taking time away from your work and personal schedules to fight a simple speeding ticket could serve as an inconvenience, especially if you have an unforgiving employer or a position that really requires you to be there on the court date.

3. Will the ticket influence my insurance rates?

If your premium increases because of the ticket you received, you may actually be saving money by fighting it in court – even with the expenses mentioned above. Check with your insurance agency to find out how certain citations affect your rates.

4. Could I lose my license if I don’t fight the ticket?

Some motorists run the risk of losing their licenses if they have tallied up multiple traffic violations. If this is the case, it provides a valid reason for you to go to court, as you don’t want to lose your mode of transportation or be forced to attend traffic school over another ticket.

5. Do I have a solid defense to successfully fight the ticket?

Without proper representation, fighting the ticket may simply be a waste of time. Review your options  you may need to hire an attorney who has experience with traffic cases and can help advise you through the process as well as in court.

Defenses for Fighting Connecticut Traffic Violations:

If you are considering going to court, there are several possible defenses (if applicable) that you could use to successfully get a traffic citation overturned. For example, if you can provide proof that the view of the police officer who pulled you over was obstructed, this could warrant dismissal of the violation. If you were cited for speeding and a radar gun was used, check whether it could have been compromised by something in the surrounding area. Alternatively, you could bring up the need to keep up with the flow of traffic (if there was any at the time).

Whenever you receive a traffic ticket, make sure to get testimonials from witnesses and document everything, including the officer’s name, badge number, their temperament, and the weather conditions. Finally, take photos to document the area where you were pulled over.

In the event that you are pulled over, it is important to remember one thing. Whether you believe the traffic ticket you received is justified or not, ALWAYS cooperate with the citing officer, abide by his or her instructions and treat them with the utmost respect. Acting irrationally and unnecessarily escalating the situation could result in additional citations that will only affect you long after the officer has left.

The most common traffic citation issued by police officers on a daily basis is due to speeding. But do you know what types of driving infractions in Connecticut could cost you the most?

First Time Buying a Motorcycle? Read This Checklist Beforehand

As winter slowly fades into spring, people are gearing up for what should be delightful weather this season in New England. It’s the type of weather that is perfect for riding a motorcycle up and down the scenic east coast. While your buddies already have theirs, you might be thinking you are overdue for buying your own motorcycle. But before you start your search to find the sweetest ride, we’ve provided a checklist of items to consider to ensure you’re ready to hit the road. Buying a motorcycle is much like buying a car, only with a few more caveats.

If you’re a first-timer buying a motorcycle, keep the following factors in mind:

  1. Know Your Ability

You’ve practiced and received your license. That doesn’t quite mean you’re ready for a bike just yet. There’s no room for error on one of these vehicles, so avoid showboating skills that you know you don’t have. Be realistic about your strengths, disadvantages and what you need to work on to remain safe.

  1. Research Your Options

Doing a little bit of research, and maybe a test ride will help you decide which style is better for you. While you may be tempted to get a fast bike, a cruiser may be better suited for you. This is all a matter of individual preference and riding style.

  1. Feel it Out

Especially for first-timers, look for a bike that fits your body type. Comfort will not only help you maneuver turns better, but you also don’t want to be stiff or uncomfortable if you’re planning a long road trip with your buddies.

  1. New or Used?

If you were learning how to play guitar, would you start off your first lesson by buying an expensive, Jimi Hendrix-style instrument? Of course not. The same goes for investing in a motorcycle. Novice motorists should consider starting off with a used, but safe bike as they are cheaper. Once you have gained enough confidence and experience, feel free to splurge on that shiny new model. Overall, your chosen investment all depends on your budget.

  1. Think it Over

So, you’ve found your dream bike. You’ve tested it, and love it. But you shouldn’t jump on it just yet. Take some time and ask the seller some in-depth questions regarding the bike.

  1. Inspect the Motorcycle

If you’re buying a motorcycle for the first time from a non-licensed dealer, you should have a qualified mechanic thoroughly inspect it. Double-check the mileage and find out about any outstanding repairs that are needed. When buying from a qualified salesperson, ask them to print out a service history report so you’re positive you’re not buying a lemon.

  1. Check the Title

Verify that the title has a clean history. You don’t want to get stuck with a bike that was involved in any previous criminal activities. It is not advised to purchase or trade with an individual you barely know, so always use your best judgment.

  1. Make an Offer

Most dealerships are willing to work with you so don’t let the sticker price scare you. Once you’ve found your bike, submit a reasonable offer and negotiate from there.

  1. Calculate Insurance Costs

Know your budget and calculate the additional costs of the bike after purchasing it. This obviously refers to a number of factors such as gas, maintenance, winter storage, and of course, motorcycle insurance. Shop for the best insurance policy options for your budget prior to your investment. The very best way to check out your policy options in Norwich, Connecticut is by contacting Waitte’s Insurance Agency.

Springtime motoring is just a couple short weeks away! If you’re buying a motorcycle for the first time or simply wish to compare premiums that are available, give us a call at (860) 886-1961.