The Secret to Winter Driving Is Being Prepared.

The Secret to Winter Driving Is Being Prepared.

It’s the first holiday season and a lot of us drive to celebrate the holidays with family and friends.  Most of us who have lived here any amount of time know how to drive on the ice and snow.  It’s no surprised that one of the most important things you can do to protect your self when driving in adverse conditions is to keep your vehicle maintained.

1. Make sure you have good tires.  You do not have to be using studs in winter conditions. But it pays to use an aggressive tread on your tires.  A good way to measure how much tread you have is to use a quarter and stick it into the tread across  your tires.  If part of Washington’s head is always covered you have more than 4/32″ of tread depth remaining.  Which means you have plenty of tread to provide you with good traction on ice and snow.  If you find you have less tread you may want to buy new tires for the winter.

2. Make sure your oil and the oil filter have been changed before winter. If you get stuck in the snow, you may have to wait awhile before someone can pull you out.  You want to make sure you can run your car for some time to provide heat and news on the radio.

3. If your car battery is older then five years old, you might want to replace it.  You do not want to get stranded in the cold and ice because of a dead battery.

4. Before you take off on your trip, make sure you have a least 3/4 of tank of gas or more.  If you need to depend on your car for heat until someone shows up, you’ll want to make sure you have plenty of gas for the wait.

5. Carry extra window cleaner fluid with the antifreeze added to it.  You don’t want it to freeze in the containers it will do you no good if you cannot keep your rear and front windshield clear to see out of while driving.

6. Carry and extra blanket, food,  water, tire chains, a small emergency battery operated radio, flares, a flashlight, and your cell phone charger. Again if you get stuck it will be nice to have these things to help you through a long evening or night stuck in your car.

7. Make sure you tell someone which way you were driving, so if you don’t show up they know where to start looking.

Driving Tips:

1. Slow down give yourself extra time to get there.

2. Know alternate routes, in case there is an accident you have to go around, or the road is closed due to bad weather.

3. Leave more distance between you and the other driver.  It takes double the time to stop on ice and snow covered roads than dry pavement.

4. Be careful driving over bridges or in shaded areas of the road.  Bridges will freeze before the road, and shaded areas may have black ice on the road way.

5. Never use cruise control in icy conditions.

6. Monitor the weather and check the road cameras before you leave on your trip.  Stay home if the trip is not absolutely necessary.

Insurance Tips:

1. Ice and snow falling on your car is covered under the comprehensive coverage of your auto insurance. Normally there is a deductible under your comprehensive coverage. Also some older cars may not carry comprehensive coverage. Check your policy to see if you have this coverage.

2. A cracked or broken windshield can be replaced using your comprehensive coverage as well . Often times while driving in Central Oregon a piece of gravel will get thrown up on the windshield and a traveling hair line crack will appear. Get your windshield repaired as soon as possible. Often the windshield repair people will come to your place of work or your home and put in a new windshield for you.

3. Collision covers your car if you run into another car or they run into you. Again many times drivers elect to remove collision from an older car. Check your policy or call your agent for clarification.

If you have any questions about the type of insurance you carry on you cars call 800-452-6826 our office and ask one of our agents. 

Please be safe out there!

Rex Lesueur

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