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Protect What You Have with these Wintertime Driving Tips

By February 10, 2017 September 20th, 2019 No Comments

Whether you are headed out for a weekend road trip or running the grocery store, the roads can be full of unexpected hazards.  As you head to your destination, keep in mind these few tips to keep you and your family safe while on the road.

Animal Hazards

Be aware of your surroundings; animals on the road are very unpredictable and normally do not travel alone.  Animals such as deer, raccoons, groundhogs, skunks, dogs, or elk dashing out in front of your vehicle are the causes of animal/vehicle collisions; however, some can also be the indirect cause of damage to your vehicle simply because you avoided them and hit something else.  Below are some tips to safely guide you out of a potential collision with an animal or another accident in the roadway:

♦ When driving in wooded areas, always be alert of any potential spots for animals to hide. Oftentimes, they become startled and run out onto the highway instead of the opposite direction.

♦ If an animal impact is unavoidable, brake firmly, stay in your lane and be aware of others potentially around you. Avoid swerving into another lane, and risking the possibility of a collision with another vehicle.

♦ If you come across a wounded animal, remember that they can be very unpredictable and may cause injury to yourself.  Staying in your car and alerting the authorities is advised.

♦ Always drive with your headlights on.

Poor Road Conditions

The winter season causes major wear and tear on our roads due to not only snow, sleet, and freezing rain, but also the salt and brine used to treat the roads.  These elements combined together can lead to poor road conditions that cause costly repairs to your vehicle. One of the biggest causes for repair, and are not always an insurable event, are potholes in the road.  Potholes are identified as one of the top causes of winter accidents and therefore ultimately impact your insurance rates.  If you happen to encounter a pothole on the road, follow these tips to avoid and minimize the damage.

♦ When driving, keep your eyes on the road and slow down when approaching a pothole.

♦ Always be cognizant of known potholes and plan on avoiding them ahead of time. Most of us travel the same roads, so why not remember where the potholes are?

♦ Allow enough space between your vehicle and the vehicle in front to avoid a rear-end collision should the car in the front encounter a pothole.

♦ If your vehicle has run into a pothole and you believe that it has caused some damage, pull safely off the roadway.

♦ If damage has occurred, note the particulars (damage and details), and contact your insurance agent to determine in coverage applies.

♦ Always monitor your vehicle’s tire pressure, as with many low-profile tires today on our vehicles, the jarring motion of hitting a pothole can cause loss of air in the tire. Especially over repeated impact, this could cause low tire pressure which in-turn lessens the stopping distance for your vehicle.

And remember to always buckle your seat belt in any road condition!