Many accidents occur in bad weather. However, even in poor conditions, most accidents are preventable. Using the tips below, you can avoid the hassle of dealing with bodily injuries or property damage to your vehicle (or damage to someone else's vehicle). You can also save money by preventing an incident that will raise your auto insurance prices.
1. Pay Attention
It's easy to become distracted by conversation, the radio or your smartphone. When conditions are hazardous, you need to pay attention to the road. Slick streets and poor visibility create ideal accident conditions. Remain alert for pedestrians and other vehicles that may have a hard time seeing your car or truck.
2. Watch Your Speed
Speeding under dangerous conditions can lead to accidents and a car insurance claim. Instead, plan on driving 5 to 10 miles below the speed limit when weather makes driving conditions a challenge. Slowing down helps you avoid skidding, spinning or hydroplaning on slippery roads.
3. Remember Your Headlights
Putting your headlights on enables pedestrians and other drivers to see you coming. It also improves your visibility. Clean your headlight covers once a year with a soft cloth and soapy water to maximize the light beam strength. Don't forget to also clean the fog lights, which help you see close to the ground in front of you. If you think other drivers will still have a hard time seeing your car, flicker your lights to prevent a collision. Also consider turning on your emergency flashers.
4. Keep Your Windshield Wipers In Good Condition
Windshield wipers keep rain, snow and dirt off the window, so that you see more clearly. As your wiper blades age, they don't fit as tightly against the glass. Replace wiper blades with cracks and shrunken rubber. Additionally, there are special winter wiper blades that can help you stay safe in bad weather.
5. Leave Extra Car Lengths Between Cars
Giving yourself more room to maneuver can prevent an accident. If you leave 100 yards between your car and the one in front of you, it gives you enough time to stop without skidding on slippery roads. Braking hard can cause you to slide off the road or further ahead on unsafe roads. This often puts you at a higher risk of a collision and car insurance claim.
6. Put Your Phone Away
It's a good idea to have your phone close by in case of an emergency. However, you still should not use it while driving. You could always turn it off and put it in the glove box or inside the console between your front seats. Securing it prevents the phone from being damaged when you need it most. However, you can turn it off to avoid distractions that put you and your passengers at risk in bad weather.
Staying focused on the road can save lives, prevent damage to your car and keep you safe. As a bonus, safe driving helps you avoid the hassle and expense of car insurance claims and premium jumps.
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