Unfortunately (or fortunately if you are a snowman, Olaf, anyone?), it’s winter in Missouri. Even if you enjoy the cold and everything that comes with it, no one enjoys driving in the snow, ice, sleet, slush and general winter ick. But whether we like it or not, we’ll have to do it at some point or another (unless you want to hibernate all winter, which sounds awesome but is probably not too practical). So what can you do to help stay safe and not have to use your car insurance this winter? OSHA has the three P’s of Safe Winter Driving.
The Three P’s of Winter Driving in Missouri:
- Prepare for the trip.
- Protect yourself.
- Prevent crashes on the road.
Sounds easy enough, right? Remember though, even the best driver has to worry about the other *cough* idiots *cough* on the road.
Maintain your car properly for winter weather. Weather.com tells you to check the battery, the ignition and the brakes.
Make sure your tires have adequate tread depth and are properly inflated for winter weather.
Keep a survival kit in the car. This should include things like a first aid kit, scissors, non perishable food, flashlight, snow brush/ice scraper, cell phone charger etc.
Plan your route ahead of time. If possible wait to leave until after the roads have been plowed.
And practice. This is especially important for inexperienced drivers. Let them practice driving in a deserted parking lot. Play with your brakes. How well do they work? Practice steering into a skid.
The most important step in protecting yourself is to buckle up. Not only is it the law, but it does save lives as well as minimizing and even preventing injuries.
Make sure children are secured in the proper car seats based on their age and size. Don’t let them wear coats under the straps of their car seats.
If you get stuck, stay in your vehicle.
Make sure your exhaust pipe is clear of any obstructions so carbon monoxide doesn’t build up inside the vehicle.
Slow down and stay back. Leave plenty of room between you and the vehicle in front of you. Weather.com says this is three times more room than you usually allow.
NBC says a good rule of thumb is to reduce speed by 50 percent in snowy conditions. But don’t go too slow. Your car needs momentum to keep moving up hills.
Brake gently to avoid skidding, but if you do skid, steer into the skid (remember you practiced this in a parking lot earlier).
Turn on your lights.
Keep your car clear of snow.
Don’t use your cruise control.
You followed the 3 P’s of Winter Driving in Missouri and you still crashed. Don’t Panic (yes another P).
If vehicles are moveable move them to the side of the road. Don’t let a minor accident become a pile up.
Then follow the information discussed here.
If you are driving without insurance, email, call, or come by and see us. We’ll be glad to provide you with a quote (and remember we shop for you – wouldn’t that be great if someone Christmas shopped for you as well). If you’re unhappy with your current carrier see us as well. We represent lots of different companies so that we can find one that is the best fit for you and your situation.