First Day of Winter-Winter Driving Reminders
Today is the first day of winter so might be a great idea for refreshing the basics of winter driving. Hopefully I don’t jinx the little snow fall in Minnesota this year. Happy Holidays!!!
The Weather Outside Is Frightful: So Is The Driving!
Cars may be safer than they were decades ago, and weather forecasting may be more accurate, but winter is still one of the most dangerous seasons for drivers on the road. “Most people don’t realize that the leading cause of death during winter storms is vehicular accidents,” notes EMC Insurance Company Senior Engineer Chris Murphy.
“Despite the technological advances, safe winter driving is still the same old story,” advises Murphy. “Prepare your vehicle for winter, take time to slow down, pack a survival kit and know what to do if you get stranded.”
Prepare Your Vehicle For Winter
Installing snow tires can have a significant impact on your vehicle’s ability to handle winter driving conditions. All-weather radials can be used effectively in areas that do not receive large amounts of snow or ice. Whether you have snow or all-weather radials, now’s the time to make sure they have adequate tread. While you have a mechanic check the tires, be sure he/she also checks other aspects of the vehicle, including your battery, antifreeze, brakes, wipers, defroster and lights.
Take Time To Slow Down
The rule of thumb is to allow a two-second following distance between the front of your car and the rear of the vehicle in front of you. In bad weather, add one additional second for every hazardous condition encountered.
Pack A Survival Kit
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) recommends a safety kit be kept in each vehicle. FEMA suggests the kit contain a flashlight with extra batteries, a first-aid kit, several blankets, extra newspaper for insulation, a small shovel, bottled water, matches and booster cables.
Stay In Your Vehicle
If you become trapped in your vehicle during a blizzard, FEMA recommends you stay inside. Display a trouble sign by hanging a brightly colored cloth on the radio antenna and raising the hood. To keep warm, run the engine and heater occasionally, about 10 minutes each hour. Watch for signs of frostbite and hypothermia.
“These are the basics,” says Murphy. For additional information on safe winter driving, he encourages policyholders to visit the following online resources: