Stay Safe on the Road All Winter
By now you all know the drill… slow down on cold wet, icy or snow covered roads. Nationally, there are over 5,748,000 vehicle crashes each year on average. More than 20 percent of these crashes – nearly 1,259,000 – are weather-related. (Weather-related crashes are defined as those crashes that occur in adverse weather.) Don’t be one of the statistics!
Here are some guidelines that can help you stay safe when driving in adverse winter conditions:
- Clear snow and ice off your car – including windows, mirrors, lights, reflectors, hood, roof and trunk.
- Drive with your headlights on, and be sure to keep them clean to improve visibility.
- Keep your windshield washer reservoir full, and make sure your car has wiper blades that are in good condition.
- Remember that speed limits are meant for dry roads, not roads covered in snow and ice. You should reduce your speed and increase your following distance.
- Be cautious on bridges and overpasses as they are commonly the first areas to become icy.
- Know how to brake on slippery surfaces. Vehicles with anti-lock brakes operate much differently from those that do not have anti-lock brakes.
Use Caution When Driving in Rain!
Driving on a rainy day is more dangerous than driving on a snowy one, perhaps because drivers fail to adjust their driving habits to wet, hazardous conditions. The vast majority of most weather-related crashes happen on wet pavement and during rainfall: 73% on wet pavement and 46% during rainfall.
Get Your Car Rain-Ready:
Tire tread is key – Dig out a quarter – insert it upside down into your tire tread. If part of Washington’s head is always covered by the tread, your tires have more than 4/32 of an inch of tread remaining. If the top of Washington’s head is exposed at any point, you should replace the tires.
Tire pressure is important, too, he says. You should check the pressure once a month, using a tire gauge. NHTSA offers many other tire safety facts.
Check your windshield wipers to be sure they’re up to the task. If they need replacing and you’re doing it yourself, you can check online guides to be sure you’re doing it correctly.
Check headlights, taillights, brake lights and turn signals to be sure all are working properly. When you’re driving, turn on your headlights to boost your visibility. NH & MA requires the use of headlights when windshield wipers are in use.
In the event of a winter driving accident, we offer comprehensive auto insurance coverage at competitive rates and can often arrange coverage within 24 hours. Visit www.santoinsurance.com for more information.