November 29th, 2016
Preparing for Winter Driving
It is hard to believe but the Holiday Season is here! While this is typically an exciting time for most, it also means busy sidewalks, cold weather, icy roads, and packed parking lots, which are all culprits for auto accidents at this time of the season. Because this is a stressful time of year, it always helps to be prepared for a driving mishap because it can reduce the inevitable stress that comes with it. So, whether you are stuck in a snowy Midwestern state, or enjoying a warm holiday down south, here are a few tips to help prepare you for this winter:
- Insurance Information. It is somewhat common for drivers to lose their insurance information or simply forget to have it in their vehicle. This not only can lead to a traffic citation, but it slows down the claim process. A claim could be opened or processed the day of the accident if you provide the insurance information to authorities and other parties on the date of the incident. But if you do not have it, victims or other drivers will have to wait for you to get it. Most insurance providers also have emergency hotlines for accidents to help tow your vehicle or give you a ride. Some of them are even free of charge. Thus, having this information in the vehicle could be extremely useful.
- Stay Calm. It is very easy to get frustrated or scared when there is an accident. However, it is necessary to be calm and collected to get the appropriate information you need. You will most likely have to talk to any other drivers who are more than likely in the same state of mind as you. Jumping out of the car screaming at them will not help you get their insurance information and undoubtedly not help you reach a resolution on anything. An officer filling out a police report also needs to get as much as information as possible. If you are frustrated or afraid to talk to them, you may forget to mention important details, which could come hinder your ability to recover down the road.
- Cat Litter. For those who will be driving in snowy conditions, cat litter is an often overlooked tool. If the treads on your tires are wearing down and you haven’t been able to buy new ones yet, it is likely that you will be getting stuck in snow or ice at some point. If you pour cat litter in front of your front or rear tires (depending on whether your car is front or rear wheel drive), you can create enough traction to get your car moving again. This should be enough to get you out of whatever conditions you may be in.
- Cell phone. This is one that can be vital. In non-emergency accidents, you can expedite the process by calling the local police to come prepare a police report. In emergency situations, this may be highly useful if there are no witnesses around to call for help.
- Washer Fluid. Snowy season also means slush, ice, and salt, which collectively make your cars and windows dirty. Since you’ll be using washer fluid to wipe away the snow, sleet, ice, and salt, it is important to replenish it. If you don’t, your vision and depth perception will be obscured, which will make it more likely that you get in an accident.
- Sand Bags. This is also one for the drivers in snowy states. The more weight you have in your car, the less likely you are to slide on an icy road. If you’re in a small sedan or something similar, having something heavy like sandbags in your trunk can minimize the likelihood of you sliding off road or into another car when braking.