Winter weather can be treacherous for the holiday driving season for several reasons. Not only is weather a factor but also the potholes and poor road conditions are contributed for at least $27 billion in claims and out of pocket consumer expenses in the last five years, according to a 2014 survey commissioned by Trusted Choice.
This same survey also found that 31% of car owners with pothole damage reported a claim to their insurance company while 65% who needed repairs paid out of pocket with a bill over $500.
Snow, ice and freezing rain in the winter months contribute to both poor road condition and accident hazards that impact insurance rates, as premiums are determined by past claims.Potholes and poor road conditions are not only inconvenient but also an expensive bi-product of harsh winters.
It is for these reasons that drivers are encourages to be cautious throughout winter while taking on the roads for holiday traveling.
Here are some safety tips on both topics addressed above
- Pothole Safety
- Keep an eye out: If you see other cars slowing, swerving, or moving lanes quickly. This could indicate a major pothole or road damage.
- Report it: Report these road hazards to your state or local transportation department.
- Avoid: Avoid the urge to swerve to miss the pothole at the last minute, this could swerve you into the path of an oncoming vehicle. This is much more dangerous than resulting damage from the pothole.
- Document it: Treat it like a collision. If you suspect that you hit a pot hole, pull over to photograph, document damage and call in the claim.
- Cover it: Check in with your agent to make sure you have the appropriate coverages for this event.
- Winter Driving Safety
- Keep your cell phone full charges
- Keep a windshield scraper in your vehicle
- Maintain at least a half tank of gas during the winter season
- Use lukewarm water to pour windshield if it is frozen, never hot as it could crack
- In the event your are stuck on the road, have a “winter car kit” available.
- Winterize your car by having a mechanic check the vehicle for any warning signs that any systems are compromised that would impede winter travel
Have a wonderful and safe holiday season!!