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Prepare Yourself and Your Car for Bad Weather

Cars during bad weather
Wild weather can strike without warning. Whether you have a sudden storm, an unexpected coating of snow, or rain that quickly turns into ice, preparing for the elements is one way to make your drive time safer. Before you get into your car, look at the easy prep steps that can save you time, money, or even your life. 

Understand Road Conditions

Weather causes more than 1.2 million car crashes. While you might think of snow as the primary culprit behind this statistic, these other weather conditions can also seriously impact driving:
  • Wind. High winds can reduce visibility and spread accident-causing obstacles throughout the roadways.
  • Rain. Whether it's heavy or light, rain can wet roads and make traveling tricky. Heavy rains can also reduce visibility or result in roadway obstructions.
  • Fog. Dense fog diminishes visibility, making your ability to see other cars, structures, objects/obstacles, or the road itself almost impossible.
  • Ice. Icy roads aren't always easy to spot. Black ice may look like a wet road, causing drivers to slip, skid, or crash.
  • Snow. Like ice and rain, snow can cause skidding. Snow can also make steering and braking difficult.
  • Hail. A hailstorm can reduce visibility, crack a windshield, or make roads slippery and difficult to drive on. Hail can also damage your parked car, causing dents or breaking glass.
Getting the full weather report or road conditions before leaving your home (or other starting point) can help you to prepare for what's to come. This requires understanding the different types of weather and what to look out for.

Pick a Policy

Auto insurance is more than just a legal requirement. Insurance protects you in the event of an accident or other type of motor vehicle-related incident.

Even though choosing the least expensive policy seems appealing, it's not always the best option. A lowcost, high deductible, and low coverage policy may save money upfront. But in the event of an accident or weather-related damage to a car or property, the policy can leave you paying a higher price.

Wet pavement is responsible for 15 percent of crashes and crash injuries. Snow and sleet are responsible for four percent of vehicle crashes and three percent of crash-related injuries.

With every auto accident and injury comes a cost to pay. A policy that includes primary liability, medical payment coverage, uninsured motorist coverage, and collision can dramatically reduce the out-of-pocket costs that you'll pay following an auto accident.

Store a Safety Kit

Along with keeping your insurance card handy, stashing a safety kit in your car can help you after an accident or during a weather-related breakdown. What should you pack in the safety kit? Create a kit that matches the needs of your region, climate, and the season. In general, consider packing:
  • A flashlight. While your cell phone probably has a flashlight app, don't rely on it as your primary light source. If you forget your phone, it breaks, or the battery runs out, you'll need a secondary source. Pack a working flashlight with batteries already installed.
  • Batteries. If you don't routinely update your safety kit, or if the weather is extremely cold, your batteries can run low. Regularly add an extra pack of flashlight-sized batteries, just in case.
  • Road flares or triangle reflectors. Flares and reflectors can help the police, emergency service personnel, or a tow-truck driver spot you easily.
  • First aid kit. You can buy a ready-made kit or put one together yourself. Include basics, such as bandages, gauze, antibacterial cream, and bandage tape.
  • Hand warmers. If you get stuck in the snow, ice, or other freezing conditions, packaged hand (or feet) warmers can keep you toasty while you wait for help.
  • A blanket/sleeping bag. These items can also keep you warm while you wait.
  • Food/water. Pack small snacks (such as protein bars) and a few bottles of water.
Other items to add, again depending on the weather conditions, might include an ice scraper, antifreeze, or coolant.

Do you need a new auto insurance policy to protect against weather-related incidents? Contact Finley Pinson Insurance for more information.