With Christmas and New Year’s just around the corner, hitting the road to visit family and friends is a given.
Of course, this time of year brings potential weather road hazards. November’s record snow storm reminded us how much havoc the white stuff can create. The miles-long backups on highways and local roads snarled traffic for hours.
While it’s unclear whether we’ll have a white Christmas or New Year, living in New England means dealing with snow- and ice-covered roads. Practicing those winter driving safety skills is essential to surviving the season.
Winter Driving Tips to Put Happy Back in the Holidays
For seasoned New Englanders, winter driving safety is taught early. Your first year behind the wheel included a lesson from your drivers’ education instructor or your parent. Probably from both.
However, our proximity of New York and Boston bring a more cosmopolitan population to our area. This includes drivers from warmer climates who never experienced snow. They may get white-knuckled at the first sign of flakes.
However, being a veteran winter weather driver doesn’t make you a pro. A safety review is good for drivers of all skill levels.
A writer at Jalopnik got the following driving advice from fellow Northerners:
- SLOW DOWN! Even the biggest SUV is no match for physics.
- Keep TWO hands on the wheel and pay attention.
- Winter tires provide better traction than all-season.
- CLEAR YOUR CAR! Connecticut fines drivers $75 for not clearing snow and ice. That goes up if “ice missiles” cause accidents or injuries.
- Keep your distance. It takes longer to stop in ice and snow.
These tips can help you get to grandmother’s house in one piece. However, if a winter storm grinds traffic to a halt, you may be spending a lot of time in your vehicle. Will you be prepared?
Some recommendations from the Old Farmer’s Almanac that can help you ride out a storm include:
- First aid kit
- Bottled water
- Nonperishable food
- Battery-powered radio
In the event you get stranded in the snow, roadside assistance can be a lifeline to help you get home. Many auto insurance policies offer this option. Does your policy include this coverage?
As your local, independent insurance agency for nearly 50 years, the Keating Agency is happy to review your policy with you. Call us to discuss roadside assistance options, as well as collision coverage and deductibles.
We offer these tips to help you avoid an accident. Of course, we can’t prevent accidents cause by other drivers. Know that no matter who is at fault, if you have an accident or claim situation, the Keating Agency will be with you through every step of the process.
We wish you a very safe and happy holiday!