Auto & Homeowners Newsletter - December 2018

Stay Safe on Wintry Roads

Severe winter weather can be both intimidating and dangerous for automobile travel. The Federal Highway Administration estimates that 24 percent of weather-related vehicle crashes occur on snowy or icy pavement and 15 percent happen during snowfall or sleet. And over 1,300 motorists are killed annually due to these treacherous weather conditions. So here are some winter weather driving tips to consider.

  • Dress warmly, keep your cell phone by your side, make sure you have at least half a tank of gas, and bring a winter survival kit with you. This kit should include a car charger, road salt, emergency flairs, windshield scraper, blanket/sleeping bag, basic first aid kit, bottled water, and some protein bars.
  • Watch weather reports or check the Internet prior to a long-distance trip. Delay the trip if bad road conditions are expected due to snow, sleet, or ice.
  • Accelerate or decelerate slowly on snow or ice. Drive more slowly than normal.
  • The normal dry pavement following distance of 4 seconds should be raised to 9 or 10 seconds for winter weather conditions, giving you a wider safety margin.
  • Try not to power up hills, since applying extra gas on snow- or ice-covered hills can start your wheels spinning. Instead, try to get more inertia prior to the hill since this momentum will help carry you to the top.
  • If you become snow-bound, stay with your vehicle and phone for help. Place a brightly covered piece of cloth (e.g., red) at the top of a rolled-up window to signal distress. Put your emergency flashers on as well.
  • If possible, periodically start the engine and heater to maintain some level of warmth in your vehicle.
                                                                         Copyright 2018
                                                    International Risk Management Institute, Inc.


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