Driving in the winter can be a major hassle, especially if you're in a hurry to get to work or are traveling to see family. Snow, hail, ice and wind can all obscure your vision while also decreasing the level of traction your car has on the road. That's why it's important to drive as safely as possible and that your vehicle is up to date on all of its maintenance checks.
However, having your car in top condition is only half the battle. You'll also need to take a look at your current auto insurance policy to make sure you've got the resources needed to get you and your vehicle through the winter. Speak with an insurance agent to see how your policy can be strengthened with roadside assistance.
The Department of Motor Vehicles noted roadside assistance is an inexpensive and helpful addition to your car insurance. Not only can a tow truck or emergency services be sent your way in the event of engine failure or if you're stuck in the snow, but you'll also be covered for all the expenses related to replacing parts.
Sometimes referred to as "emergency road service" coverage, roadside assistance has rates and deductibles that are both typically low. By adding this simple policy to your larger insurance plan, you will have backup in case your vehicle gets stranded this winter.
After you've added roadside assistance, follow these important tips to make sure you don't get stuck in the snow:
Clear snow from tires
Before you leave for work, shovel away as much snow as possible so that your tires won't spin out. Create a clear path for your car to drive while also defrosting your windows and mirrors. You should have a set of snow tires already installed on your car before winter hits to increase traction and make your vehicle safe on the road. Once you park your car, use a shovel to get rid of any snow around the car so that you're not stuck the next morning.
Keep rock salt handy
Many cities will lay down rock salt before and during a snowfall so that tires can get better traction on the road. Further, this salt can help keep snow from sticking, effectively dissolving flurries when the snow hits the ground. You can purchase a small bag to keep in your home and another to have in your trunk. Simply applying a layer of rock salt around your vehicle can ensure you won't be stuck once you've parked. This is especially useful when you plan on leaving your vehicle in the same spot for a long period of time.
Use a low gear
Putting your car in a lower gear will help your vehicle maintain control because it increases traction and keeps your engine from overworking itself when in extreme weather conditions. If you find yourself stuck, slamming on the gas will only spin your tires. In a low gear, drive slowly so that you're not contributing to your vehicle's lack of traction.
Keep your distance
Staying several car lengths away from other vehicles is vital. This can eliminate the chance of you having to slam on the brakes or swerving out of the way in a hurry - both of which can cause a loss of control. If you end up on the side of the road after spinning out, you'll likely be stuck until someone can rescue you.
Stay on major roads
Busy roads are more likely to be salted and are also easier for emergency services to access in the event of an accident. This improves your chances of driving safely and avoiding getting stuck in the snow indefinitely. Additionally, frequently used roads have better lighting and more traffic stops, which can make travelers drive slowly.
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