Severe weather can strike at any time of the year. Being a cautious driver can mean the difference between getting home safely and standing along the side of the road waiting for a tow truck.
In many parts of the country, wintertime often brings ice and snow. Ice and snow cause driving challenges for most of us, but we can all be safer on the road by following a few key driving tips. It is important to take the time to properly de-ice and clean your windows. An extra 5 minutes defrosting and scraping all your windows will enable you to see others and to use defensive driving skills. Once on the road, keep your speed slow and consistent. In deep snow, travel at a speed fast enough to keep your momentum going but slow enough to maintain control of the vehicle. Road signs usually warn us that bridges freeze before roads. Therefore, slow down before crossing bridges and overpasses and avoid sudden changes in speed or direction.
Braking in winter weather should be slow and deliberate. If you brake too quickly or abruptly, your brakes may lock-up, causing you to lose steering capability. Anti-lock brakes will keep you from losing steering control in a quick braking situation. To engage anti-lock brakes, push the pedal to the floor and hold; do not pump the brakes. Ice and snow do not change the application of your anti-lock brakes; push and hold the brake pedal to avoid losing steering control. If these safety tips fail and you find yourself stuck in the snow, straighten your wheels and accelerate slowly. Try to avoid spinning your tires and, if necessary, use sand or cinders for added traction under the drive wheels.
In foggy conditions, stay to the right side of the road and turn on your low-beam headlights. If you cannot see the edge of the road, it may be safest to pull over. However, make sure to pull to the far right, off of the traffic lane, and turn on your hazard lights.
Wind and rain pose special challenges for drivers. If you have a high-profile vehicle such as a trailer or motor home, consider staying off the roads until the winds die down. The beginning of a rain is the most dangerous time to be on the road, as water mixes with road oils and dirt to create a slick surface. Take care to avoid hydroplaning by slowing down and maintaining traction between your tires and the road surface. Turn on your lights to allow your vehicle to be seen by other drivers and use your defroster or air-conditioner to improve your visibility.
Severe thunderstorms can spawn tornados and hail. In the car, monitor your news radio station. If you see a tornado, the safest place to be is outside of the car. Pull over and find a ditch or other low-lying area where you can lay face down and protect yourself from flying debris. In a hailstorm, pull under an overpass or bridge to seek shelter while on the road. In a hurricane, head inland to high ground well before the storm approaches land.
By following severe weather driving tips, you can save yourself the headache of sliding off the road, having an accident, or suffering even greater damage to yourself and your property. For further protection, be sure you're properly insured. Electric Insurance can help.
To confirm your auto policy completely covers your needs, call Electric Insurance today at 800.342.5342. Whether you are a prospective policyholder or a current policyholder just interested in confirming your coverage, our licensed representatives will make sure you have the right coverage at the right price. Electric Insurance also offers home and personal umbrella insurance.
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