Winter roads can be treacherous. The Federal Highway Administration reports more than 150,000 accidents annually are caused by icy roads. Snow, slush, and ice not only impair visibility but also make it harder to control your vehicle. At MetzWood Insurance, we understand the risks and offer comprehensive advice to keep you safe.
Preparing Your Vehicle for Winter
Preparation is key. Start by stocking your car with a winter driving survival kit. This should include an ice scraper, a snow shovel, and sand or road salt. Check your tires and consider switching to snow tires for better traction. Regular maintenance like checking your windshield wipers and fluid levels, and keeping your gas tank full, are essential to avoid getting stranded.
Understanding your car insurance coverage is an essential preparation tip for winter driving. Before the snow starts falling, review your policy to ensure you have adequate coverage for scenarios unique to winter, such as collisions on icy roads or damage from winter storms. This knowledge not only gives you peace of mind but also equips you to handle any incidents more effectively during the winter months.
Winter Driving Habits
Make it a habit to run your car regularly in a well-ventilated area. This prevents a dead battery - a common winter issue. Using fuel additives can also help eliminate water vapor in your gas lines. If possible, store your vehicle in a garage to protect it from extreme temperatures.
In our digital age, a charged phone is a lifeline. Keep yours ready for emergencies, but remember, using it while driving is a distraction and a danger.
Plan your route in advance, choosing the safest roads. Inform someone of your travel plans, especially if you're heading into areas with limited cell coverage. Always check the road and weather conditions before setting out. Local news and online sources are great for this. You can even sign up for weather alerts. However, avoid distractions like checking your phone while driving.
Once on the road, your driving approach must change. Clear all snow and ice from your car for maximum visibility. Reduce your speed and increase the distance between you and the vehicle in front, especially on snowy or icy roads. Avoid using cruise control and be extra cautious on bridges and overpasses. On slippery roads, be gentle with your brakes and gas pedal. Start stopping sooner than usual, and pump the brakes gently, even in emergencies.
Dealing with Breakdowns or Getting Stuck
If you get stranded, stay in your car if it's safe, and run the heater periodically. Ensure your exhaust pipe is clear of snow to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning. Crack a window slightly to prevent gas buildup.
Preventing Car Warmup Thefts
With the rise in car warmup thefts, always lock your doors while the car is warming up. Stay aware of your surroundings and keep your vehicle in sight. Activate your vehicle's alarm system and ensure your insurance covers theft.
Winter driving requires a different set of skills and precautions. At MetzWood, we're committed to helping you navigate the season safely. Remember, if you're unsure about road safety, it's always better to wait until conditions improve. Stay safe and insured this winter!
Get in touch with your MetzWood Insurance representative for more information.
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