Watch Out for These Driving Risks This Winter

Don’t let bad winter road conditions put you at risk.

According to the U.S. DOT Federal Highway Administration, 22% of all car accidents are related to the weather.  Because winter sees some of the most extreme weather conditions (snow, ice, wind, freezing temperatures, etc.), it’s easy to see why winter is considered the most dangerous time of year for drivers.  While having the right auto insurance in Clinton Township, Michigan, can help you stay safe behind the wheel, it’s also helpful to know what risks to look out for.   If you want to stay safe as you drive this winter, watch out for these winter driving hazards.

  • Snow

Driving in the snow is dangerous on many levels.  Not only do the falling flakes compromise your vision and make it difficult to see oncoming threats or other vehicles, but it can also conceal hazards as well.  For instance, snow can hide potholes, sheets of ice, and other driving dangers.  If you have no choice but to drive in the snow, then make sure that your car is equipped to handle these conditions.  To start, make sure that you have snow tires or snow chains on your car so you can get a better grip on the road and reduce your chances of skidding.  You should also make sure that your windshield wipers are operating properly so you can clear off your windshield and maintain visibility.  Finally, make sure your headlights, taillights, and indicators lights are all working.  This will help you see and be seen while you are driving.

  • Black Ice

Black ice is a thin, barely detectable layer of ice that forms on the roadway.  Black ice is so dangerous for motorists because it’s hard to recognize this hazard.  As a result, many drivers do not take extra precautions and end up skidding on these patches of frost.  Because you cannot easily spot black ice, you need to be extra careful in the areas where black ice tends to form.  Reduce your speed, increase your following distance, and avoid turning or braking suddenly when you are on bridges, under overpasses, or driving through shady stretches of road.  This will help you stay in control of your vehicle even if you do encounter black ice.

  • Hail

Rather than the light, soft flakes associated with snow, hail is better described as raindrops that have frozen through.  Typically, hail is heavier and more solid than snow, meaning that it can do some serious damage to your car.  If it begins to hail while you are driving, the best things that you can do is park under a covered area until it lets up.  This will ensure that your car isn’t dented, and your windows aren’t cracked by particularly large pieces of hail.  After the hail storm has passed, make sure you drive slowly and carefully.  All the hail pellets on the roadways can make things slippery.

These are some of the tips that you should try to drive safely this winter.  Want another way to stay safe behind the wheel?  If so, then make sure you have the right auto insurance in Clinton Township, Michigan.  For assistance with all your auto insurance needs, contact the experts at CIA Insurance and Risk Management today.

Post written by Sophia Najjar, Vice President | Commercial Risk Management (CRM)

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