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Calling all wordsmiths, vagabonds, and commuters ($2,000 grand prize!)

April is National Poetry Month. And as a car insurance company that values an inventive approach, we're celebrating the art of creativity (and the thrill of the road) with a poetry contest. Between now and April 30, 2012, wordsmiths, vagabonds, and commuters alike are invited to wax poetic about the road.

Esurance Poems of the Road Contest*
Ballad or sonnet, limerick or haiku, rhyming or not, we want to hear your poems about the ecstasies (and agonies) of being on the road. Poems must be original, 14 lines or fewer, and should feature the word "road" in the title or body. Upload your poem and see other submissions on our Facebook tab ... and be sure to tell your friends to vote for you.

The top 3 poems will be selected based on Facebook voting, creativity/originality, content, and imagery, with each component worth 25 percent. Once 3 poems have been chosen, Tom and Ray Magliozzi, hosts of the popular NPR show Car Talk, will lend their automotive expertise and literary prowess to select the first- ($2,000), second- ($1,000), and third-place ($500) winners.

Whether you're a modern-day Kerouac or a car enthusiast, this is your chance to immortalize your words and share your passion (and make a little moolah in the process). But hurry, the contest ends soon.

Enter the Poems of the Road contest

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Motorcycle helmet safety

It's April, which means motorcycle season is upon us! But before you get your motor runnin', make sure your helmet's up to par by checking for:

Thick inner liner. To meet federal safety standards, your helmet should have an inner polystyrene foam liner that's at least one-inch thick.
Sturdy chin strap and rivets. After all, it won't do you much good if it falls off.
Weight. As a general rule of thumb, safe helmets should weigh about 3 pounds.
DOT sticker. The DOT (Department of Transportation) symbol certifies that your helmet meets or exceeds federal safety regulations.

Motorcycle helmets are vital to safety, reducing the risk of head injury by 69 percent. But just as important, a good motorcycle insurance policy can help protect you against financial pain. Find all kinds of useful info in our motorcycle insurance FAQs, and make sure you're covered today.

Motorcycle insurance quote

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*NO PURCHASE NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN. A PURCHASE WILL NOT INCREASE YOUR CHANCES OF WINNING. Contest begins at 10:00 a.m. PT on 4/3/12. Submissions accepted through 11:59 p.m. PT on 4/30/12. Open to legal residents of any 1 of the 50 US or DC who are at least 18 & age of majority. Valid Facebook account required. Void where prohibited. ARV of all prizes: $3,500. Prize details may vary. Sponsor: Esurance Insurance Services, Inc., 650 Davis St., San Francisco, CA 94111.