Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Car insurance and winter driving

For example, did you prepare your vehicle for facing bad weather conditions? After all, it's predictable there will be snow and ice in winter. So did you fit new tires so you would have the maximum possible traction in slippery conditions? Or did you remember to put chains in the trunk so that, when the snow gets deeper, you can still drive reasonably safely? We all know the risk of sliding or skidding out of control. Why then do we fail to take action to protect ourselves and other road users? There are probably several reasons, not the least of which are that this means spending money on buying the chains, some think it inconvenient to fit them, and you cannot drive fast when you have them fitted. The fact local governments may require chains to be fitted as a condition to using the roads in some areas is not considered a reason for action (curiously, there are no chain laws in Florida and Missouri - strange oversight).
Then we come to all those routine maintenance tasks like adding antifreeze and retuning the engine so it's more likely to start when the temperature drops. Did you fit new blades on the windshield to give you better visibility when there's snow fall or a blizzard? And then we come to all the steps to protect you should your vehicle break down or be involved in an accident. Do you have an emergency bag packed with warm clothing and blankets should you need to keep warm while rescue comes? You did remember to charge your cell so you could call for help? If you are making a trip cross-country where signal strength may be low, did you tell people when you were expected so they could send out search and rescue teams?
All these things are basic common sense yet, when the first snows hit, we seem to have forgotten to prepare. If accidents are more likely because of this failure and it's shown to be a regular failure, your car insurance rates will rise. If you have been making claims, the car insurance quotes coming in from other insurers will not be welcoming. No insurer wants to take on someone who fails to prepare in the face of obvious dangers. That's why insurers in the states where the weather is worst offer discounts for drivers who go on defensive driving courses and learn how to drive more safely. Your choice!

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