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Icy Roads And Heavy Rains: Your Safe Winter Driving Guide

If you believe the local weather person, the severity of 2017’s winter storms will usher in floods, rolling black outs and traffic jams. The weather person will end the segment by telling you, the viewer, to stay indoors and will recommend that if you can, work remotely and avoid the roads. Not everyone has the luxury of staying inside during storm season, and no matter how icy or slick the roads are, there are bosses out there who will threaten termination if you don’t come to the office.

Being that you will have to drive no matter the weather (and because it’s the law) you’ll need an auto insurance package that’ll cover you when you need it. When you make an auto insurance quote comparison with CoverHound, you’ll find an insurance policy that’ll cover you in rain, sleet or shine. For extra protection, read on to learn more about driving safely is abysmal weather.

Driving in the Fog

When fog settles it restricts visibility. This is a major hindrance when you’re driving on the roadway. JD Power tells motorists that if their caught in a fog bank, the first thing they need to do is slow down and never stop on the highway, move to the side of the road where you can come to a full stop safely. If you’re having trouble seeing the road and the car ahead of you, you can bet the driver behind you is experiencing the same issue. Stopping in the road will only increase the likelihood of an accident.

To get your bearings, use your fog or low-beam headlights. Fog reflects light, so using your high-beams will only inhibit your visibility further. If you’re still having trouble seeing, use the white line on the side of the road as a guide to help you maneuver corners and the road safely.

Driving in the Rain

Like fog, rain reduces visibility. Rain also slickens the roadway and can cause vehicles to skidding off the street if a corner is taken to sharply or brakes are punched too hard. On rainy days, reduce your driving speed and leave a buffer space between you and the vehicle ahead of you, this way if the driver ahead slams on their brakes, you have enough time to react.

Should you be forced to hit your brakes and your vehicle start to skid, continue to steer the vehicle in the direction you want it to go, do not jerk the wheel or overcorrect, as this can cause the vehicle to hydroplane. If your car does hydroplane, try and identify an open space where you can guide your vehicle and decrease the pressure on the accelerator gradually, pumping the brakes will send your car spinning, and you don’t want that.

Driving in the Snow

Equip your vehicle with winter tires and snow chains. If you’re going to be driving in the snow, your tires will need traction for gripping purposes. Keep your speed low and your eye out for areas that you might be able to pull to safety should you experience slippage or hydroplaning.

If you should lose control and get caught in a snowbank, do not try to free it by pushing down on the accelerator, this will only cause your tires to spin and you and your vehicle to sink deeper into the snow. Instead, Ford advises putting your car in the lowest gear and moving it forward. Once you have some traction, you can begin to press down on the accelerator.

If you’re stuck for good call a tow or emergency personnel and place a brightly colored cloth on your vehicle’s antenna so that you can be found quickly. While you wait for an emergency crew, clear your exhaust pipe of snow. Turn the engine on for ten minutes once every hour for to heat the vehicle. What does this have to do with the exhaust pipe? A clogged exhaust pipe puts you at risk of carbon monoxide poisoning when the vehicle is running. To stay warm, you need to be safe.

Driving on Ice

Slow down your speed and remain alert of the vehicles in front, behind and to the sides of you. Scan the road for empty spaces. If it looks like one of the vehicles is going to hit you, you will have a space (if another car hasn’t taken it) to move to. Similar to rainy road conditions, do not punch on your break or speed up to avoid another hazard.

We can’t choose the weather conditions, but we can choose how we drive. Drive responsibly and make sure to get an auto insurance package with CoverHound.

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