February 5th, 2015
Parts of the Midwest and Northeast often succumb to heavy snowfall and when a blizzard hits, driving becomes increasingly more dangerous. Even when multiple inches of snow fall onto the roads, you still might have get somewhere the next day and need your car. However, it's important to know that you're more prone to accidents and car trouble when heavy winter conditions blast your city, which will ultimately raise your car insurance rate.
To keep you on top of any winter weather, here are five safe-driving habits to follow after a winter blizzard:
1. Don't rush
One of the fastest ways to lose control of your car in severe winter weather is to speed and hit your brakes forcefully. You'll quickly discover that snow makes it hard to control a vehicle and stay alert when you quickly accelerate and brake, the New York Daily News reported.
Instead, keep a cool head and don't rush to wherever you are going. Give yourself plenty of time to get to your destination and try your best to stay calm and relaxed. Realize that whether it's a job or doctor appointment, everyone understands that getting to a destination safely is more important than risking your life.
2. Clear off your car completely
The two biggest things you need to worry about while driving in the snow is safety and visibility, the Boston Globe reported. To ensure you're providing yourself with a visible windshield, it's necessary to remove all the snow and ice completely from your car before you take off.
According to the source, driving with snow left on your car not only puts your visibility at risk, but it endangers those behind you as well. Once you hit a high enough speed, snow tends to blow off your car, which will create a white cloud of snowy dust behind you, The Weston Forum reported. Make sure you clear the front and back of your car before you go anywhere.
"Leaving snow or ice on top of your car while you're driving 60 mph, becomes a safety hazard to other drivers," said Fran Mayko, spokesperson for AAA Northeast, according to the source. "It's also downright rude [not] taking into consideration how your actions could affect others."
3. Avoid extra distractions
While you shouldn't let additional driving distractions get in your way during any time of the year, it's extra important to make sure you are focused when driving on ice and snow. Turn off the radio whenever you're driving so you won't run the risk of having additional distractions. Also, don't do any other in-car activities such as eating, smoking or talking on the phone - even if it's a hands-free device.
The New Jersey Office of Emergency Magazine and the Federal Emergency Management Agency said the main cause of deaths through the winter months is transportation accidents, so it's essential to stay as focused as possible.
4. Properly inflate tires or install snow tires
The second you scoop your car out of the snow, you should check your tire pressure before driving anywhere or switch to snow tires, the Boston Globe reported. The car's manual will tell you how much pounds-per-square-inch (PSI) you need in your tires and winter tires should be simple to change with a tire iron and car jack.
However, before you change your tires, make sure the area for your car jack is completely clear to avoid any slippage accidents.
5. Fill up your car's fluids
In the winter, you want to make sure you have enough wiper fluid to get rid of pesky snowflakes and ice. Also, you want to make sure your brake fluid is filled so you have complete control of your vehicle.
Another thing to take into consideration is keeping your fuel tank as full as possible all winter long, the New York Daily News reported. It's much harder to get car towing service in the winter and running out of gas could be a costly incident. Keeping your tank full will ensure your safety and help you avoid being stranded in blizzard conditions.
Coverhound can help you find the lowest automotive insurance rates so you're not stuck with high winter repair bills.