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Keeping Safe in Your Car this Winter

Written by Michele Wilmonen. Posted in Research Last Updated: 11/29/2015

winter driving

If you have to be on the road in the winter, make sure you plan ahead for trouble.

Car insurance isn’t the only protection you need to have when you drive during the winter.

Winter has arrived with quite the punch this year. So for those of us that got a little lax in remembering what to do during winter driving situations because we had it really easy last winter, here are a couple of reminders.

Ice + Rush = Winter Car Accident

Keep your speeds down and give yourself extra time to get EVERYWHERE in the winter. A good number of winter car accidents are completely avoidable by driving at reasonable speeds for the condition of the road. So the next time you are in a hurry to get somewhere and the roads are bad, ask yourself if the increase in your car insurance premium after you get into an accident is really worth it.

Trapped in your Car

When the authorities tell you to stay off of the road because the weather or road conditions are bad, please listen to them. They have no hidden agenda to keep you from travelling, they just want people to stay safe. They also probably have their hands full with everyone that is already in trouble on the roads and are trying to prevent there from being more.

However, sometimes you absolutely must travel or are already on the road when bad weather hits, so always be prepared for the worst to happen while you are on the road. For example, your car becoming disabled because of an accident, too much snow on the road, or you lost control and left the road are just some of the situations you could face.

So before any of this happens, make sure your vehicle is stocked with emergency supplies, like:

  • Extra blankets
  • Extra clothing
  • First Aid Kit
  • Water
  • Energy bars or other easy-to-open food that has a long shelf life
  • Portable charger for your cell phone
  • Flashlight (not your cell phone)

Having all of these items in your vehicle will prevent you from freezing and starving if you end up stranded and have to stay in your vehicle for a long period of time before help arrives. If you do find yourself stranded and can’t move your vehicle do the following to stay safe:

  • Stay with your car, don’t go look for help.
  • Crack the windows so that carbon monoxide doesn’t build up in the car, just in case your tailpipe is blocked.
  • Run the heater every 20-30 minutes (make sure you have a full tank of gas when you travel during the winter).

But again, if you don’t have to go out don’t.  Staying at home during bad weather in the winter is just safer, less of a hassle and a lot better for your insurance premium.

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Michele Wilmonen

Michele’s first introduction to insurance was working for a major insurance company as a file clerk and a mailroom supervisor in a regional office. She learned insurance directly from underwriters and claims adjusters from questions and also watching them do their job. Since then, she’s earned a number of insurance certifications from the Insurance Institute of America and also a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Idaho. She blogs at Car Insurance Guidebook.

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