Hazardous road conditions make it even more important to take safety precautions and drive carefully. The following tips will help you arrive safely at your destination:
- Winterize your car by checking your antifreeze, battery, and windshield wiper fluid. Keep tires properly inflated and check the treads.
- Make sure your headlights, taillights and emergency flashers are working— before you take to the roads.
- Keep at least half of a tank of gas in your car at all times.
- Give yourself additional time. Wet and icy conditions often cause traffic delays.
- Slow down and keep extra distance between your car and other vehicles.
- Be careful when accelerating or stopping a vehicle on icy roads or on hills. Avoid sudden stops.
- Take extra precautions when approaching bridges as they may freeze first.
- Keep front and rear windshields clear.
- Do not use cruise control when driving on ice and slippery surfaces.
- Prepare an emergency travel kit with items such as blankets, jumper cables, a shovel, a flashlight, salt, flares and other emergency supplies. A toolkit, bottled water and snack food are also useful items to include, in case you get stranded on the road.
- Call your local IMT Agent or insurance company to review your policy. Damage to vehicles from ice or trees is covered under the optional comprehensive coverage in an auto insurance policy. Collision coverage on an auto policy covers crashes in hazardous driving conditions. If you are in an auto accident, it is important to take the following steps:
- Stay calm and get immediate help if anyone is hurt.
- If possible, move your vehicle out of traffic to a safe place. Use your emergency flashers to alert oncoming cars.
- Call the police to report the accident.
- Secure and conceal any valuables before exiting your vehicle.
- Write down the other driver's name, address, phone number, vehicle make, license number, insurance company and insurance policy number. If possible, get witnesses' names, phone numbers and addresses.
- Avoid discussing who was at fault at the scene of the accident. Exchange insurer and contact information only.
- Examine the damage to any vehicles involved.
- Contact your insurance company immediately to report the claim. If possible, take pictures!
Stay safe out there this winter!
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