Different seasons bring different challenges for motorists across the country, and wintertime driving can be one of the most trying times for even the most skilled motorists. According to research by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, about 46 percent of all crashes involving bad weather take place during the winter. Winter storms, bad weather, and sloppy road conditions are a factor in nearly half a million crashes and more than 2,000 road deaths every year
“During the winter months, we receive a lot of insurance claims for people sliding off of the road and damaging their vehicles,” says Mark Sisson, vice president of insurance for AAA East Central. “If you have to leave the house, make sure you drive slowly and ditch all distractions.”
AAA Insurance offers the following recommendations:
Stay home. Keep in mind that the best strategy for winter driving may be avoiding it entirely.
Slow Down. Speed should be adjusted down to account for lower traction when driving on snow or ice.
Increase your following distance. Extra space between vehicles can decrease the likelihood of an accident caused by skidding.
Accelerate and decelerate slowly. Gently applying the accelerator to regain traction can help avoid skids.
Know your brakes. Motorists should keep the heel of their feet on the floor and use the ball of their feet to apply firm, steady pressure on the brake pedal.
Don’t stop if you can avoid it. There’s a big difference in the amount of inertia it takes to start moving from a full stop versus how much it takes to get moving while still rolling.
Motorists should also review their insurance to ensure their coverage is up-to-speed. AAA East Central offers free insurance reviews to members and the general public. Motorists can call their local branch for more information, or visit [AAA.com/AutoInsurance]AAA.com/AutoInsurance.
AAA East Central is a not-for-profit association with 80 local offices in Kentucky, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania and West Virginia serving 2.7 million members. News releases are available at news.eastcentral.aaa.com. Follow us on Twitter and Facebook.