Many woke up today to the beauty of a winter wonderland, where everything is blanketed in bright white snow. It’s the kind of snow that’s best for when Anna and Elsa want to build a snowman, or for packing snowballs to throw at Olaf. Moist to wet snow makes the outdoors look so lovely because it easily sticks to everything, but it also makes for dangerous driving conditions (even for Sven and his sleigh).
While school is often delayed or canceled when it looks like this outside, most of us still have to drive to work and other places so keep the following winter driving safety tips and techniques in mind:
- Slow down ahead of turns and curves.
- Plan ahead for lane changes.
- Look out for slushy patches and piles of snowdrifts.
- Anticipate stops near intersections.
- Avoid over accelerating your vehicle in deep snow.
- If you feel your vehicle beginning to skid, remain calm and steer in the direction that the vehicle is sliding until you can feel your car regain traction. Then, slowly straighten your wheels and keep rolling.
In a perfect world, everyone gets to their destination safely. However, no matter how safe one can be, accidents do happen and you may find yourself off the road and stuck in the snow.
If you become stuck in the snow:
- Don’t overexert yourself if you try to push or dig your vehicle out of the snow.
- If possible, tie a brightly colored cloth to the antenna or place a cloth at the top of a rolled-up window as a distress signal.
- If you become stranded after dark, keep the dome light on. It only uses a small amount of electricity and will make it easier for rescuers to find you.
- Make sure the exhaust pipe isn’t clogged with snow, ice, or mud. If the engine is running, a blocked exhaust could cause deadly carbon monoxide fumes to leak into the passenger compartment.
If you’re in a situation where you can’t get your vehicle unstuck, it would be a great feeling to know you have roadside assistance you can call. Some insurance companies, like Central Insurance, offer a Roadside Assistance Program with their personal auto policies. Programs like these often offer access to towing service providers who are available 24/7 and even concierge service to help arrange alternative transportation if needed.
Check with your independent agent to see if your auto policy is equipped with roadside assistance, and stay safe on those snowy roads.
The information above is of a general nature and your policy and coverages provided may differ from the examples provided. Please read your policy in its entirety to determine your actual coverage available.
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