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Controlling Your Car in Winter Weather

November 16, 2011

winter driving habitsWith winter weather fast approaching, we’d like to provide you with some important tips to stay safe in slippery conditions. Driving during heavy snowfalls and slippery ice conditions can be very dangerous and being aware of these dangers is the best way that you can get to your destination safely, avoid a car accident and the potential auto insurance rate consequences.

Slow Down, Be Careful

The simplest way to stay safe on winter roads is to drive slower than normal and with extra caution. Adjust your driving speed to account for low visibility or slick conditions on the road. Remember to allow more braking time by following other cars at a longer distance than required on dry roads. The greater the speed, the more stopping distance you should allow yourself – and on icy and snowy roads this distance grows even more. Even if you’re driving the speed limit, police can still give you a ticket for driving too fast for the current road conditions.

Avoid over-steering by responding to a skid in a careful and controlled fashion. Although the instinct can be to panic, staying calm and keeping control of the car will help avoid an accident.

Watch For Pedestrians and Parked Cars

Especially in low visibility conditions when it is snowing and blowing, it’s important to keep an eye out for people and things you might not be able to see in the snow.

Watch carefully for:

  • Pedestrians crossing streets, especially at night
  • Parked cars that might be hidden by snow
  • Garbage cans and other objects that might be on the road
  • Road signs (especially at street corners), where braking can lead to skidding

Remember that no matter what the road conditions, an accident where you strike an inanimate object or pedestrian is usually your responsibility – and you may be found at fault in the insurance claim even if situations where ice or snow is a factor.

Check the Conditions

Before heading out on the road, check the weather report and local road condition reports. Knowing what to expect on the road ahead means being prepared to respond to the conditions. Consider skipping the trip if conditions are bad and it is not necessary; it might better to stay home.

Stay safe and try to avoid filing an insurance claim that may increase your car insurance rate! Bookmark this site.