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Winter Hazards, Winter Weather Guide to Car Insurance

White flakes falling from the sky are absolutely a beautiful sight. Ironically, however that sight can be deceiving because it could mean winter hazards are on their way, and these winter hazards can make driving a dangerous activity. During the winter season, accident rates go up due to a reduced visibility and icy road conditions. Even the most careful and experience drivers may find themselves in an accident because of these hazardous winter weather conditions.

Unfortunately, when accident rates go up, accident claims go up and insurance rates go up. Everything gets affected. So how can we avoid accident and insurance rate to go up? Knowing what the winter hazards are determines the ways drivers can protect themselves from accidents, costly repairs and high insurance rates. Here are some common hazards to watch for:

1. Snow building up on the road, which may appear shallow but could be quite a few inches or feet deep. With this, cars can easily get stuck and people in the car may become trapped or stranded.

2. Icy roads, which make the surface slippery and therefore can cause the driver to lose control and possibly swerve and cause accident.

3. Black ice on the road, which is clear ice that looks black and drivers sometimes think it is part of the road.

4. Snow and ice building up on the car can cause damage to the car leading to a costly repair.

Again, knowing or identifying these winter hazards allows drivers to take more precautions while out on the road. And here are some winter weather guides to ensure a safe winter season on the road:

1. Before driving, make sure to remove ice and snow that has built up on the car. Clear all headlights, brake lights, windshield wipers and windows. Also ice and snow from your car's roof so they do not blow off when driving and therefore, avoid creating hazards for other drivers.

2. Slow down. Leave plenty of space between cars. More distance is needed to stop safely on slippery surfaces.

3. Never lock brakes on icy road to avoid losing control. If the car skids, remember to turn into the direction of the skid.

4. Bridges and highway overpasses tend to freeze before the rest of the road and can be very slick. Again, slow down and leave enough space between cars.

5. If a car is stuck in snow but still runs, dig the car out of it with a shovel. Therefore keeping a shovel in the car and a bag of ice melting salt are great ways to stay prepared for winter hazards like this.

6. Black ice on the road is the most dangerous winter hazards of all because it is impossible to see it on the road. Drivers will not know it until they have hit the ice or see a car spinning in front of them. When a black ice is hit, try not to slam the brakes or it will just make the car spin out worse. Tap the brakes lightly and turn the wheel into the direction of the skid until it slowly brings the car to a stop.

7. Keep the gas tank full. This will prevent damage from freezing and avoid the chance of running out of gas when stuck in a traffic jam.

8. Install snow tires treads.

9. Prepare an emergency kit that includes blankets, shovel, flares, windshield scraper and brush, battery operated flashlight tool kit, and booster cable.

10. If stuck, stay in the car and wait for help. Run the engine and heater sparingly. Make sure to ventilate the car to avoid carbon monoxide fume poisoning.

Again, winter is beautiful but it can be harsh with the winter hazards it brings along to everyone. Therefore, it always pays to be prepared for the unexpected. Common sense on the road coupled with a few simple driving habits like planning ahead and taking all the necessary precautions will keep everyone safe from the potential hazards posed by winter weather conditions.

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