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December 4, 2014

Avoid a Car Accident in the Snow

Driving in SnowThe first snowfall of the season will be here sooner than many would like. When the first snowfall arrives, so do a flurry of car insurance claims from those involved in an accident on slippery roads. In addition to potentially increasing your insurance premiums, a winter car accident can mean time without your vehicle while it gets repaired. Remember the following five tips to reduce the likelihood of getting into a car accident this winter.

  1. Avoid Driving: This is the obvious one. If you aren’t driving in the snow, you won’t get in an accident. Before you leave the house, consider whether or not you really need to go out. Maybe the gallon of milk can wait until tomorrow and everyone can have toast for breakfast in the morning instead of cereal. If schedule is not crucial but you must go out, try to allow the plows time to clear the roads before you leave. If you are heading to work, avoiding driving may not be an option so read on for additional tips.

  2. Allow Plenty of Time: Anticipate that the drive will take longer than expected. If you have to be somewhere at a specific time, leave early to allow plenty of time for slow driving due to the road conditions. Your commute time may double in poor conditions. If you are running late, don’t try to rush. You will be much later if you end up in a car accident. 

  3. Drive Slow and Leave Space: If the road is snowy, drive under the speed limit. Always leave extra room between yourself and the car in front of you. If you need to stop, you will not be able to stop suddenly so you will need extra distance for braking. It is possible that your car may slide on icy roads. Slow speeds and extra space will reduce the likelihood of you hitting the car in front of you. 

  4. Appropriate Braking: Never brake suddenly in snowy conditions. Your wheels may lock up and you can skid. Instead, brake gently and if you feel the antilock brakes engage (brakes pulse under your foot), keep applying pressure to the brake. 

  5. Clear the Snow Before You Go: Ensure you completely clean the snow off of your car before you start driving. Don’t just clean a spot off the windshield. Take an extra few minutes and make sure all windows are completely cleared off so you have full visibility. Clear off the roof and hood of the car as well since that snow can end up blocking your rear or front window. Verify that your windshield wipers are clear of snow and ice. In addition, check to make sure that your headlights and taillights are not covered by snow so other cars can see you.

Although driving in the snow may be a hassle, following these tips will reduce the probability of being involved in a car crash this winter. Hopefully all of your winter travels will be safe and accident free.

Stay safe this season. Call Cloverleaf Insurance at 800-530-5822 for more information on Missouri auto insurance.

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