Winter is upon us in the Mid-Atlantic and driving in uncertain weather conditions such as ice, sleet and snow can be dangerous. The Federal Highway Administration estimates that over 500,000 auto accidents are caused by such conditions. RHH Insurance and the International Risk Management Institute want to be sure you that you are prepared to travel in winter weather.
Here are some tips offered by IRMI for drivers to be aware of when traveling in hazardous conditions.
- Watch weather reports or check the Internet prior to a long-distance trip. Delay the trip if bad road conditions are expected due to snow, sleet, or ice.
- Dress warmly, keep your cell phone by your side, make sure you have at least half a tank of gas, and bring an emergency kit with you. A warm blanket should be part of the kit.
- Accelerate or decelerate slowly on snow or ice. Drive slower than normal.
- The normal following distance of 4 seconds for dry pavement should be raised to 9 or 10 seconds for winter weather conditions, giving you a wider safety margin.
- Try not to power up hills, since applying extra gas on snow- or ice-covered hills can start your wheels spinning. Instead, try to get more inertia prior to the hill since this momentum will help carry you to the top.
- If you become snowbound, stay with your vehicle and phone for help. Tie a brightly covered piece of cloth to your antenna or place a cloth at the top of a rolled up window to signal distress. Put your emergency flashers on as well.
- If possible, periodically start the engine and heater to maintain some level of warmth in your vehicle.
Get more personal lines insurance and risk management tips and ideas from IRMI. Copyright 2015 International Risk Management Institute, Inc.
Rossmann Hurt Hoffman, Inc. is an Independent Insurance Agency providing service to individuals and businesses in Maryland since 1871. Contact us to learn about Auto Insurance and our other products and services offered.