Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Top 5 Winter Driving Mistakes

Winter weather, be it snow, ice or rain, can cause some dangerous driving conditions. As your Lake of the Ozarks insurance agent, I'm here to help you stay safe on the roads and avoid the need to file an auto insurance claim. Let's take a look at the most common winter driving mistakes and how to keep from making them.

1. Driving Too Fast. 

Slick roads will reduce the traction of your tires. It is important to slow down when the roads are wet or slick from rain, ice or snow. In fact, packed snow has about 25-30% of the traction of dry pavement. This means you should drive 1/4 your normal speed on snow covered roads. Adjust your speed according to current conditions, factoring in visibility, traffic, and traction, not just what the speed limit sign says.

2. Following Others Too Closely. 

Most drivers fail to keep enough distance between themselves and the vehicle in front of them. Keeping a safe distance from other vehicles becomes particularly important during inclement weather conditions. Slippery roads make it more difficult to stop in an emergency situation. Let off the gas a little and keep a safe distance between you and the vehicle in front of you. This buffer zone will give you and your car more time to react to these road conditions.

3. Correcting a Slide

The immediate response to avoiding an auto accident is to slam on the brakes and often times even swerve. When sliding on slick roads, these actions will only make the situation worse. If you find your car slipping or sliding on the road you are likely going too fast for road conditions.  Reduce your speed, do not use your brakes and carefully turn into the slide.  Overcorrecting is a major consern as correcting a slide may be difficult for most drivers.

4. Driving Fatigued.

Have you ever noticed how the weather can affect your energy and concentration? In fact, snowy conditions can cause up to four times the energy and concentration of regular driving. As fatigue sets in, drivers' skill levels reduce. Make sure you're well rested before attempting a road trip, especially if you may encounter snow or ice while driving.

5. Not Getting Your Car Ready. 

Even if you're the type of driver that regularly checks your oil, antifreeze and tire pressure, you should make sure your vehicle is ready for winter. In addition to your regular vehicle checks, you'll want to make sure to pack your car with emergency supplies including: a spare tire and jack, jumper cables, an ice scraper and brush, kitty litter (to gain traction, or melt snow or ice), a phone charger, a blanket, food and water. You never know when you'll be stranded in winter weather, so it's best to be prepared for anything! 

Sometimes the best insurance is just staying off of the road when bad weather strikes.  Giving road crews extra time to do their job can be a big help as well.  If you must be on the road then always be careful, wear your seat belt and allow for extra travel time.

In the event that an accident does occur, you want to make sure your auto insurance at the Lake of the Ozarks is up to date! Give Insure the Lake a call at 573-348-2794 to review your policy today. For all your Lake of the Ozarks insurance needs, personal or business, we've got you covered! 

Request a Free Quote Online! Contact Insure the Lake today for all your Lake of the Ozarks insurance needs! 

About the Author: Steve is a double back-flip insurance ninja. He was named Young Insurance Agent of the Year by the Missouri Association of Insurance Agents in 2010 and is a Certified Insurance Counselor. When he is not helping customers, he enjoys community service, Latin dancing with his beautiful wife and going on adventures with his two awesome sons.

Steve Naught, CIC
3736 Osage Beach Parkway
Osage Beach, MO 65065
Next to Golden Coral