Posted on: January 16th, 2015 by The Accel Group | No Comments

Snow, ice, negative temperatures–winter weather across the Midwest can cause major headaches!  When accidents, flat tires, and car troubles happen, are you prepared to handle it?

There are plenty of ways that you can keep yourself and your passengers safe if caught in a dangerous winter situation. When you have no choice but to travel or commute in inclement weather, practice the following tips to ensure your safety on the road.

 

Be Prepared         

Every time you jump in the car, are you prepared for the worst? Especially if you are driving a long distance, it’s important to always have an emergency kit in the car.  Keep water, non-perishable snacks, gloves, and hand warmers in the trunk or an emergency kit to ensure you and your passengers are comfortable in case of a blizzard or car troubles.

The trunk is the best place to keep an ice scraper, shovel, and jumper cables in case of a snowstorm or dead battery.  It never hurts to be over-prepared, you’ll be thankful for the extra items when emergency situations arise.

 

Take Care of Your Car

Especially with very cold temperatures, keeping the gas tank full is very important.  Avoid frozen gas lines by keeping the gas tank at least a quarter full at all times.

Semi-trucks and interstate traffic can kick up dirt when roads are covered in precipitation, causing a dangerous situation if you run out of windshield wiper fluid.  Always maintain a generous level of fluid, especially during winter months, to ensure you aren’t left looking through a muddy windshield.

Finally, if you experience any unusual car troubles, like puttering or slow turnover, it doesn’t hurt to have the battery and engine looked over.  Many dealers will inspect the car for free once per year.  To ensure you don’t run into any trouble on the road in cold weather, have a professional ensure your battery and engine are good to go!

 

Practice Safe and Smart Driving

The best way to keep yourself safe when traveling in bad weather is to drive smart.

Always check the weather prior to heading out for a long trip or commute.  If the weather will be bad, dress warm and prepare a bag to stay overnight if needed.  Only drive if you are sure you will make it to your destination without issues.  If the weather is bad and you can leave early or postpone the trip, do so to ensure a safe arrival.

Most importantly, if you are on the road when winter weather hits, drive safe.  The following tips can help you stay accident free this winter:

  • Drive the speed limit
  • Use headlights at all times
  • Do not set the cruise control in wet weather
  • Leave plenty of space to slow down between you and other cars
  • Do not follow close to snowplows or semi-trucks
  • Remain alert- Do not let cell phones or GPS cause distractions
  • Always let others know when/where you are driving

 

In Case of an Accident

Unfortunately, accidents and car trouble happen no matter how well we prepare.  If you are involved in an accident, stranded, or having car issues, do you know what to do?

In case of a serious accident, always call 911 for help immediately.  For minor accidents or run-ins, move safely to the side of the road. From there you can exchange information with other parties, call the police if needed, or contact your auto insurance company for assistance.

When accidents happen, be sure to file with your car insurance company as soon as you are safe.  The Accel Group has professional agents available to help you file claims incase of a winter weather accident.

At The Accel Group, we understand accidents happen and are prepared to help you when they do.  For more information about coverage and auto insurance options contact The Accel Group in Eastern Iowa today!