Driving in the winter can be tricky — especially if you are not used to it. Unfortunately, unpredictable weather makes all of us more prone to fender benders and accidents during the winter months.
Staying safe on the roadways is a high priority, not only to avoid injury or car damage, but also because insurance carriers look at winter driving records when determining premiums.
To stay safe and keep your premiums low, we recommend you avoid the following 10 winter weather driving mistakes:
Mistake #1: Not giving yourself enough buffer time
If you’re running late, lost track of time or are just a procrastinator, rushing to get where you’re going is dangerous, especially with dicey roads. Build some extra time into your schedule so you can reach your destination safely.
Mistake #2: Tailgating (not the fun kind)
Avoid getting up close and personal with the car in front of you. Keep assured clear distance of at least two car lengths so you have plenty of time to stop.
Mistake #3: Riding the brakes
You might feel more in control by riding the brake pedal, but doing so can wear down your brakes. Drive your car in a lower gear instead.
Mistake #4: Speeding
Winter is not the time to be breaking speed records. Posted speed limits are meant for normal weather conditions. With snow and ice on the roads, be sure to take your time.
Mistake #5: Not removing snow and ice off the car
Make time to remove the snow and ice off your entire car, even the roof. A sudden stop could cause the roof snow to fall on the windshield. Don’t forget to clear off the license plates, taillights, headlights and windshield wipers.
Mistake #6: Not checking on your car’s tires or windshield wipers
The cold temperatures will cause your tires to lose inflation, so make it a habit to check your tire pressure regularly. Replace your windshield wipers at the first sign of streaks.
Mistake #7: Driving with the tank on “E”
Always keep your gas tank full in the winter. You never know when you will be stuck in traffic or have to take a detour.
Mistake #8: Not respecting bridges
Since bridges have air passing under and over them, ice doesn’t melt as fast as it does on the roads. Use caution when traveling over a bridge, especially when changing lanes.
Mistake #9: Sudden stops or lane changes
You shouldn’t do this any time of year, but it can be especially dangerous when the roads are slippery.
Mistake #10: Placing blind faith in your all-wheel drive car
Don’t let your all-wheel-drive vehicle give you a false sense of security. If you lose traction with the road, the all-wheel drive won’t help you anyway. Be careful and cautious no matter what car you are driving.
SFM Insurance hopes you stay safe on the roads this winter, and that you’ll share this blog with the new drivers (or soon-to-be-drivers) in your family. As your independent insurance carrier, we have access to 16 well-known carriers and can help you find the most affordable auto insurance coverage in a policy built specially for your needs. If you have questions or would like to know more, please contact us through our website or call us at 937-382-2546.