Well it is finally here: winter weather. If you have to get out and about in it, here are some winter driving tips along with a very important piece of advice about your insurance.
Before you go:
- Clean your windows of ice and snow.
- Make sure you have plenty of windshield wiper fluid.
- Ensure you have plenty of gas. For hybrids, make sure you have a full charge. If you get stranded and you want to run your vehicle for the heater, just be sure nothing is blocking the exhaust so that you are not at risk for carbon monoxide poisoning.
- Put a blanket in your car along with some water and some food like a protein bar just in case you get stranded.
- Buckle up before you start driving and remove your big, bulky coat before doing so. A heavy, bulky coat can reduce the effectiveness of your seatbelt especially for children in car seats.
- Make sure your cellphone battery is fully charged in case you need to call for help.
- Don’t follow too closely but instead allow plenty of stopping distance.
- Do not text and drive. In bad weather especially, your full time and attention needs to be on driving.
- Ditto for driving under the influence.
- Drive at or below the speed limit so you have more reaction time.
- Know whether you have anti-lock brakes in your vehicle and understand how they perform. If you have anti-lock brakes, apply the brakes continuously. You may feel a pulse in the pedal. If you don’t have anti-lock brakes, pulse the breaks so that they do not lock up.
In addition to these tips, please make sure you have proper insurance. For anyone who regularly reads this blog, you know how important we think uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage is for your protection. You can learn more about that issue here. (You can also search for uninsured motorist coverage on this site and find a host of posts about it.) But, there is another insurance issue we are seeing more and more often and that is insufficient collision coverage.
Here is an example: let’s assume your vehicle is totaled in a car accident and the remaining balance on your auto loan on your vehicle is $15,000. Yet, your collision coverage is only $10,000. So now you no longer have a vehicle, but you are still required to pay your auto loan. Of course, if you hire us for your personal injury claim, we can help you recover these losses but it will not be an immediate fix. In fact, the vast majority of personal injury cases take roughly a year to reach a conclusion. Therefore, the best way to protect yourself from this situation is to obtain gap coverage or purchase a policy with an agreed upon value at the start of the premium year. Check with your agent for more information on this type of protection.
As always, if you or a loved one has been involved in an accident and would like to discuss your case with one of our award-winning attorneys for absolutely free (whether you hire us or not), simply give us a call at 615-742-4880 (Nashville) or 615-867-9900 (Murfreesboro) or 866-812-8787 (toll-free). We handle all accident cases on a contingency basis which means we only get paid if we get money for you.