Operating a vehicle is dangerous because accidents can happen at any moment. That’s why auto insurance is such a significant asset. The dangers of driving become even more heightened during the winter season. You have to deal with icy and snowy conditions that can be potentially fatal. Additionally, when researching auto insurance in Portland, OR, you must consider how winter driving may impact your policy.
Here are some winter driving mistakes to avoid while out on the road. Avoiding these common driving errors during the winter can help you stay safe on the road.
- Driving on Less Than Half a Tank of Gas
Expect delays while driving during the winter. Avoid driving your vehicle on a quarter tank of gas during the winter. It would help if you always tried to drive your car with at least a half tank of gas at all times during the winter. Make sure that your phone is charged up in the event of an emergency.
- Neglecting the Owner’s Manual
Read over your Owner’s Manual before you start driving during the winter. Neglecting your Owner’s Manual during the winter can lead to potentially serious problems. Your Owner’s Manual contains helpful information regarding your vehicle’s anti-lock brakes and traction system. You will also learn whether your vehicle has four-wheel or all-wheel drive. Make sure that you are comfortable with everything.
- Not Doing Winter Prep
Before the harsh winter conditions really take shape, take your car to the dealership and have it prepped for the winter. Check your battery, as it takes more energy for your car to start during the winter. As the temperature drops, your vehicle loses strength. Also, check your lights, fluids, tire pressure, and wiper blades.
- Not Carrying an Emergency Kit While Driving
You should carry emergency supplies in your vehicle during the winter. Ensure that you have a snow brush, shovel, ice scraper in your vehicle, and a cat litter container. Other essentials to keep on hand during the winter include a flashlight, jumper cables, a phone charger, and clothes. For driving long distances, you can also store some water and snacks.
- Failing to Adjust Your Seat Properly
During the winter, consider raising your driver’s seat, as that will give you a better view of the road conditions. This can help you notice a potentially dangerous obstacle before it causes damage.
- Changing Lanes Too Much
Changing lanes too often can cause you to hit some black ice or cause you to get stuck in some snow. Try to stay in one lane until you are ready to leave the road.
- Using Cruise Control
Using Cruise Control during the winter is a common mistake that many drivers make. Do not use cruise control when you are driving on a road with slick conditions. Your car may not be able to adapt to the loose road conditions. The cruise control feature may cause you to gain power at the wrong time, leading to a loss of control. Rely on your brakes, gas pedal, and steering to stay safe on the road during the winter.
- Using Too Much Power When You Are Stuck
If you are stuck in a pile of snow, turn your engine on to keep the interior of your car warm and soften snow near the base of the vehicle. If you are still stuck, don’t let your engine run continuously, as that will cause your vehicle to run out of fuel, and you could inject carbon monoxide.
- Panic Driving
If you find yourself skidding, don’t panic. Try to stay calm and put pressure on the brakes. If your vehicle has an anti-lock braking system, the vehicle will automatically pump the brakes. Hold your brakes down and steer your vehicle smoothly.
- Losing Driving Momentum
If you are driving uphill in snowy conditions, losing your driving momentum can lead to you getting stuck or spinning out of control. While driving uphill, losing momentum can cause you to slide backward. Try to leave room between your vehicle and the car ahead of you to avoid getting stuck if you have to brake.
Driving in the winter can be tough if you aren’t prepared. Avoiding these mistakes can help you stay safe on the road. If you have any questions about your auto insurance policy, contact our insurance professionals at Action Insurance Group, and we will assist you.
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