Are you planning to travel for the holidays? Remember, as the seasons change, so do the driving conditions. With winter and its festivities right around the corner, it’s time to start preparing yourself and your vehicle for the cold. Of course, the best tip for driving in severe weather is simply to avoid it. But if you are on the road when the weather takes a turn, be aware of these extra precautions you should take to get to your destination safely.
If you must be behind the wheel for that big holiday road trip, make sure to check the weather and road conditions regularly. Sometimes traveling in bad weather is unavoidable thanks to winter’s unpredictability; even if the forecast looks clear at the beginning of your trip, hazardous weather can unexpectedly appear in no time. For the most up-to-date road conditions, download your state’s travel app! For example, the KanDrive app (found on the Apple Store or Google Play) shows Kansas road conditions and closures due to weather, construction, etc., including real-time traffic cam photos of roadways.
Whether driving around town or to another state, prepare your vehicle with a winter driving survival kit. One of the best ways to equip your car for the cold is to have emergency supplies in your vehicle, including, but not limited to: a first aid kit, flashlight, ice scraper, blanket and warm clothing, water and snacks, jumper cables, spare tire (tire chains, too, if necessary), phone charger, and any needs that are specific to you and your vehicle. Along with these items, the most important part of your kit should be your gas tank. Always maintain at least half a tank of gas and add a full gas can to your supplies. Think of this emergency kit as creating your own insurance; hopefully you will not have to use these items, but you will be thanking yourself for having them in your vehicle if an emergency arises.
Only after you’ve looked at updated road conditions and equipped your vehicle with a safety kit should you start your travels on the winter road. Once you’re behind the wheel, there are many winter safety standards to follow.
Driving in severe weather conditions requires extra attention and know-how. Firstly, allow yourself extra time to get to your destination. Be prepared to drive slower and keep additional distance between you and other vehicles on the road. According to the tech-engineering company Lightfoot, it can take up to 10 times longer to brake on icy roads. Reducing your speed and follow-distance, along with avoiding cruise control, will give you and your vehicle more reaction time if you encounter a problem. Also, keep your headlights on, even during daylight hours, to increase your visibility to others on the road.
Remember that winter weather can present unexpected challenges even to the most experienced drivers. In fact, 24% of weather-related accidents occur in winter conditions, according to the Accident Treatment Center. So, although these tips are helpful to practice while driving in the cold, you cannot prevent every accident from happening. That’s why it’s equally as important to stay covered with auto/car insurance. With collision coverage, roadside assistance, and 24-hour customer service, Insurance Planning will be there for you during every step of your winter travels!
For more information regarding auto insurance, visit insurance-planning.com or call (785) 625-5605 to talk to an agent today.