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Winter driving tips everyone should know

Jan 23, 2017 10:55AM ● Published by Today's Family

Submitted by Corsaro Insurance

Driving in winter’s snowy and icy conditions isn’t so bad as long as you take your time, watch out for other drivers and arm yourself and your family members with these helpful tips.

Before you get in the car
Safety precautions should start before you get behind the wheel.  Take a minute to put a windshield scraper and a small broom for ice and snow removal in each of your vehicles.  Clean your lights and windshield before you leave the driveway.  Don’t be “that guy” whose entire care is blanketed in snow except for a little hole cleared from the front window for “visibility.”  And if you see that guy on the road, avoid him.

Install good winter tires and consider studs if needed.  Keep the fuel tank at least half full all winter so your engine and heater can be kept running to keep you warm if you do get stuck and help is not available immediately.

When you are driving
Make sure your lights are on so other drivers can see you.  If the roads are icy, decrease your speed and give yourself plenty of room to stop.  Allow at least three times more space than usual between you and the car in front of you.  Brake gently to avoid skidding.  If your wheels start to lock up, ease off the brake. 

Handle braking according to the kind of brakes you have.  If you have antilock brakes, press the brakes carefully in steady, sustained movement.  You will feel the brakes vibrate and pulse, but keep pressing, as this is normal.

If you have non- antilock brakes, such as those in older cars, pump the brakes gently.
Never use cruise control or overdrive on icy roads.

Be especially careful on bridges, overpasses and infrequently traveled road, as they will freeze first.  Even at temperatures above freezing, you might encounter ice in shady areas or on exposed roadways like bridges.

Don’t pass snow plows and salt trucks.  The drivers have limited visibility, and the road in front of their vehicles is probably worse than the road behind.

If you get stuck
Don’t spin your wheels.  This will only dig you deeper.  Turn your wheels from side to side a few times to push snow out of the way, but do not keep the wheels turned as you accelerate.  Use a light touch on the gas to ease your car out.

Use a shovel to clear snow away from the wheels and the underside of the car.  Pour sand, kitty litter, gravel or salt in the path of the wheels to help get traction.  Some people even put their car mats under the tires in a pinch.

This information brought to you by Corsaro Insurance Group, a proud member of Professional Independent Agents Association of Ohio, Inc.

Matthew Corsaro is the president and owner of the Corsaro Insurance Group in Mentor, Ohio.  His company and staff have been providing insurance solutions to families and business owners for over forty years.  Mr. Corsaro has obtained the Accredited Advisor in Insurance and Certified Insurance Counselor designations.  Corsaro Insurance Group represents over twenty insurance companies.  As well they have expertise in all areas of auto, home and business insurance.  They can be reached at 440-946-4950.

Create your own winter safety kit
Keep these items in your car to help prevent or lessen the effects of a winter driving emergency.
•  Ice scraper
•  Small shovel and broom
•  �Winter window-washing solvent
•  Jumper cables
•  Warning flares
•  Tool Kit
•  �Flashlight and batteries Blankets, extra gloves, hats
•  �Bottled water and snacks
•  First-aid kit
•  �Sand, kitty litter or road salt for traction
•  �Cell phone and battery operated charger
Family Winter Safety
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