Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Safer Driving in Rain, Snow or Ice

According to Farmers Insurance Group, there were more than 6,500,000 auto accidents in the United States in 2009. On average that's about 17,800 per day. Here are some tips from Farmers Insurance Group for driving in rain or snow and ice:

* Keep a good distance between your car and the car in front at all times in rain, snow or ice.
* Tailgating is out of the question in stormy weather. Remember, water can cause your car to hydroplane, making it twice as dangerous should you have to suddenly brake.
* If you feel your car hydroplaning (sliding in wet weather, or on ice), take your foot off the gas pedal and let your car naturally slow down. Do not try to steer it when sliding, just keep the wheel straight as the car slows down to a controllable speed.
* Keep in touch with the local authorities concerning any streets that are flooded or iced over. Avoid those streets if you can.
* Never try to cross a road that is flooded. You never know how deep or how fast the water is flowing. Once in, a swift water flow can turn and upend your vehicle in a matter of seconds.
* Always wear your seat belts and make sure your passengers are buckled in properly whenever you are driving.
* If you are involved in an accident, the first consideration is safety. Do not leave your vehicle on a highway, call police and wait for them.
* If it is safe to move around, check for injuries in your car and other drivers and passengers. Call 911.
* Write down the names, addresses, phone numbers and license numbers of everyone involved in the accident, including witnesses.
* Record details about the accident, such as the location; note any special circumstances such as bad weather conditions or low visibility. You may think you'll remember this information, but it's better to get the details down now while they're still fresh in your mind.
* Finally, notify your insurance company as soon as possible after the accident. They will give you instructions on how to file a claim and any further steps you should take to deal with the accident.

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