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Learn to Safely Navigate Winter's Driving Conditions

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The hazards of the road increase in winter, as the weather becomes less predictable. To avoid these conditions, you might be able to cut down on your driving, but you probably can't eliminate it altogether...and maybe you wouldn't want to. Therefore, it's essential that you take steps to lessen your risk.

As with many things in life, preparation is the key to managing winter driving hazards. The following tips can help to keep you safe on the road, regardless of the weather:

Check tire pressure monthly.
Keep your vehicle's tires inflated at the manufacturer's recommended pressure for maximum performance on icy roads. It's important that you perform a pressure check monthly because a change in temperature of 10 degrees Fahrenheit changes the tire pressure about one pound per square inch. Added benefits of keeping tires properly inflated include better gas mileage and increased tire life.

Have your battery checked.
Cold slows down the chemical reaction in a car's battery, which decreases its power output. In fact, starting power drops dramatically below 77 degrees Fahrenheit. Be sure your car's battery is fully charged to compensate for the drop in output.

Know what your car is capable of handling.
Your vehicle may have all-wheel drive, anti-lock brakes and all-weather tires. However, don't be fooled into thinking that these features are a panacea for all the problems associated with winter driving. Becoming too complacent about the car's ability to handle tough road conditions is a sure fire way to find yourself in a bad situation.

Learn to stay focused.
When you drive, focus all of your attention on the road so you can anticipate hazards. Keeping your mind on the road ahead allows you to plan for areas that usually remain icy even when roads are clear, like bridges, overpasses and heavily shaded spots. The more aware you are, the better your ability to respond.

Exercise extra caution when necessary.
Intersections with stoplights or stop signs can become deceptively treacherous when the weather is bad. Because so much traffic slides to a halt in the same location, the snow tends to become packed, and develops a slick icy surface. Drivers who spin their tires when starting up from a stopped position compound the problem. To compensate for these conditions, begin braking sooner when approaching an intersection. This will allow you more time to make necessary adjustments.

Plan when and how you will travel.
Travel during daylight hours and wear sunglasses that provide UV protection to shield your eyes from snow and ice glare. Take the most direct route possible to your destination, and allow extra travel time in case you encounter unexpected problems.

Keep your vehicle stocked for an emergency.
Be sure to have blankets and snacks in your car or truck to tide you over if you are stranded or stopped by bad road conditions.

Call Electric Insurance today at 800.342.5342 and a licensed representative will make sure you have the right auto, homeowners, and/or umbrella coverage at the right price.


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