Driving in the winter can be a royal pain and quite dangerous as well. Not only do you have to worry about your car breaking down but you also have to deal with treacherous ice and snow that can cause severe accidents. In fact, researchers have found that there are 35% more accidents during the winter months than summer ones. To protect you and your passengers, we've put together a few tips to help you drive safer in the winter.
- Winterize your car early. Prepare your car before winter hits. This means, you should check and change your brake lights, oil, and tires, and windshield wipers are all in working order. In addition, you should make sure your heating unit works and that you are properly stocked with antifreeze, gas, and windshield washer fluid. If you discover that any parts are not functioning properly, get them changed right away. This will ensure that your vehicle is performing to its maximum efficiency before winter hits.
- Plan ahead. Plan your trip before you leave home. This includes printing out maps and alternative routes in case of inclement weather. One good device to have is a navigational system or a cell phone with a navigational system embedded in it. If this is not a possibility, a good road map can also prove to be helpful as well. Yeah, this one is obvious, but not knowing where you are going while driving in the winter unsettled circumstances can be the sole responsible for an accident.
- Leave early. Always leave for your destination early. After all, snow and rushing are not a good mix. By giving yourself a bit of a cushion, you will drive more carefully. In addition, you won't feel stressed or have to rush in order to get there on a timely basis.
- Be careful. In the winter, it is even more important that you drive defensively and use common sense at all times. For instance, you should stay 2-4 car lengths ahead of the person in front of you, avoid locking your brakes too quickly, maintaining control of the wheel, and driving slowly. By doing this, you will substantially lower your risk of losing control of your car and slamming into another passenger.
- Have on-call assistance available. Have access to emergency help if needed. This means that you should carry your cell phone or subscribe to Onstar so that you can contact someone if the need arises. Keep in mind however, that Onstar relies on an electrical system so it may or may not function during an accident or in some areas.
- Pack your emergency kit. Always have an emergency driving/survival kit packed in case of an emergency. Although you never anticipate an accident happening, you should always be prepared. Therefore, it is absolutely paramount that you include an emergency driving/survival kit in your car at all times.
Here are some popular items that you should have in your emergency kit:
- warm blankets or sleeping bags
- ski hats
- snacks and other non perishable foods
- bottles of water
- emergency flares and/or hazard triangles
- a medical first aid kit, including any medications
- shovel and ice scraper
- jumper cables
- working cell phone (at least to call 911)
- reflective windshield cover to protect you from the elements
- Your insurance information with contact numbers (just in case).
In conclusion, driving in the winter isn't easy but it is a part of everyday life. By winterizing your car beforehand, planning your trip, leaving early, driving carefully and establishing an emergency kit, you'll be better prepared to drive in inclement weather and will reduce your risk of having an accident. If you do have an accident or would like to be prepared, visit Auto Insurance Claim Advice to know exactly what to do to file and document your insurance claim.
All the best,
© Copyright http://www.auto-insurance-claim-advice.com/
Hector Quiroga has a high interest in helping consumers gain knowledge of the auto insurance claim process for both property damage and bodily injury claims. He covers in great detail what a car accident investigation entails and share many helpful tips for dealing with insurance companies and adjusters. Learn how to protect your interest by visiting Auto Insurance Claim Advice.