Winter driving can be intense depending on where you live. For all drivers, safety should be a major concern in order to protect themselves and others on the road. Bad accidents can do more than damage your car or cause injuries, though. Insurance premiums and fees are often related to your driving history, so accidents can cause your insurance payments to increase.
If you are interested in affordable car insurance, it is wise to protect yourself from car accidents during the winter. There are many ways that drivers can improve their driving habits in the winter to prevent accidents. Follow these winter driving safety tips to improve your rates for online car insurance and keep yourself safe in the colder climate.
Make sure your car is ready for winter
Winter weather can greatly impact the performance of your vehicle. Without proper maintenance and precautions, winter accidents are more likely. You should maintain your vehicle all year, including preparing for colder weather. This is especially true if you are planning a long trip or spend a lot of time on the road.
Before the weather gets bad, visit your local mechanic. They will ensure your car is functioning properly, including checking your windshield wipers to provide optimal visibility in snow and rain. They will also add wiper fluid that is rated for temperatures less than 30 degrees.
Many of your car’s systems will suffer in the winter. Keep at least half a tank of gas in your car at all times to prevent your gas line freezing. Also, test your battery because the power may drop when the temperature gets colder.
Check your tires
Safe tires are essential to protecting yourself from a winter car accident. The right tires will provide a stronger grip during snow or other winter weather. You should also maintain your tires throughout the season by following these tips:
- Use winter tires that have a deeper and more flexible tire tread
- Replace your tires if the tread is less than 2/32 of an inch
- Maintain optimal tire pressure (tire pressure may drop in colder weather)
In addition to maintaining your tires, you should also ensure your braking system is functioning properly. Solid brakes can help keep you safe and out of harm’s way on icy or snow-covered roads.
Know what to do if your car skids
Skidding may not be avoidable in some winter conditions, so it is important to know how to manage a skid and avoid a crash. When your car skids, it slides on the road but does not rotate. Slowing down and paying attention to road conditions can help you avoid skids. However, if you find yourself skidding, it is important to keep your hands on the wheel and stay focused on your destination.
Steer your car in the same direction as your skid and avoid hitting your brakes. Stop pressing on the accelerator and wait until you have control over your car again. Do not steer too hard in one direction or another, and you will stand a better chance of avoiding a crash during a skid.
Lack of visibility is a serious concern during winter weather. It is impossible to drive safely if you cannot see where you are going, so accidents are more common in snowstorms or wintery mixes. Before you get in your car, clear off all snow from your windshield. It may be wise to keep a device in your car that removes snow and ice from your windshield to make sure it is always handy. You should also leave a few minutes early to give enough time to defrost your windows before you start driving.
Be extra cautious
Winter is not a time to practice your racecar driving skills. While you should always drive safely and follow local laws, it is especially important to exercise caution in the winter. Your tires have a lesser grip on snow and ice, so driving slowly can prevent a lot of winter accidents. It is important to do your best to avoid braking or turning hard, as these actions lead to skidding and losing control of your car.
Keep your focus on the road
Distracted driving is dangerous driving, and that is even more true in the winter months. Shifting your attention away from the road for any reason can lead to an accident. Accidents can happen faster than you think in the winter due to poor driving conditions and limited visibility. Stay alert by blocking out distractions from passengers, leaving your smartphone alone, and avoiding other activities while driving. Maintaining your focus can help you prepare for hazards on the road and prevent an accident.
Be prepared for the worst
You can be the best driver on the road and still experience a winter car accident. Unfortunately, it is impossible to control all of the other drivers in your area, so it is important to know what to do in the event of an accident. If you are involved in a car accident in the winter, stay calm and stay on the scene. Having a recording or understanding of the accident can help you maintain affordable car insurance and prevent being wrongfully faulted for an accident. Be prepared to show your insurance information once you assess that all passengers involved in the accident are okay.
Driving in the winter is usually an unavoidable task, but preparation can make it safer. Drivers should maintain their vehicle to ensure it is able to handle the harsh conditions that winter weather brings. Also, staying focused and knowing how to handle winter roads are crucial to staying safe in snow and ice. If you follow these winter driving safety tips you can help maintain affordable car insurance and protect yourself from winter car accidents.
Our agents can help you make sure you’re properly protected in case you do get into an accident. Contact us at 1-800-216-4171 or get a quote yourself through our free online interview.