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Driving Tips for Bad Weather

As we head towards the end of the year and winter weather, it’s always a good idea to refresh ourselves, or educate ourselves for the first time, on the best way to handle extreme weather conditions when driving.

If you’re driving on ice or snow…

  • keep your speed steady and at a manageable rate. But don’t drive so slow that your car could get stuck in the snow.
  • When driving, always leave more distance between you and the car in front of you.
  • When slowing down or stopping, try not to brake abruptly, your brakes could potentially lock up and you could lose steering control. In a manual car, be careful about downshifting when going down hill. If you hit an ice patch when down shifting, your tires could lose their grip on the road.
  • Try and keep all windows clear and frost-free. Put a coat of silicon spray or similar on your windows to help coat them.
  • Make sure your windshield wipers are in good shape as well and always carry an ice-scraper for your windows just in case.
  • If your car should break down in the snow, make sure you have an extra blanket or two in the back as well as flashlights, first aid kit, and emergency road service items.
  • If your car gets stuck in the snow, avoid accelerating too fast and keep your tires as straight as possible.
  • Be careful when crossing bridges as they ice up very easy.

When driving in the rain…

  • play it smart. If it’s the first rain of the season, be careful as the water will mix with the oil residue on the roads making them very slick.
  • Again, leave more distance than normal between you and the car driving in front of you.
  • Allow a little more time to get to your destination because typically, traffic during rainy weather will be slower. The more rain, the slower the traffic.
  • Make sure your windshield wipers are in good shape and coat your windshield with silicon.
  • Always carry an umbrella and some inexpensive plastic rain ponchos in the back of the car, which you can get at any auto store.
  • In heavy rains, or during the day when it gets darker because of cloud cover, always use your headlights.

When driving in heavy fog…

  • it’s best to stay towards the right side of the road.
  • Always turn on your headlights regardless of time of day and use your low beams only.
  • Keep your speed to a minimum and be careful of cars that might have stalled or that are not fully on the side of the road.
  • Be VERY careful when driving on a highway or interstate when it’s foggy. Increased speed combined with a foggy highway is a recipe for disaster. If it gets too bad, it’s much wiser to pull off to the side of the road and turn on your emergency flashers until visibility is better.

How to File a Claim

When you get into an auto accident or your car has been vandalized or broken into, here are the steps that need to be taken:

  1. Do your best to stay calm. Whenever you’re in an accident, emotions can run high as well as adrenaline so try and stay as level-headed as possible.
  2. Determine if anyone is injured. If so, immediately call for medical help.
  3. Determine the extent of damage to the automobiles involved. If your cars are blocking traffic and can be moved to the side of the road, do so. If they are not blocking traffic, it is best to leave the cars where they are until the police can get there. 
  4. Call the police. You need to file a legal accident report with the police. No matter how small the accident, do not leave the scene until the police arrive and an official report has been filed. All parties involved should stay there until the police get there. If the other party tries to make a run for it, try and get their license plate information and any other particulars about the car before they leave.
  5. Limit your discussion with anyone except the police. It’s important that you don’t speak too much with any bystanders or the driver or occupants of any of the vehicles. DO NOT admit to any fault or liability.
  6. Write down pertinent information. Make sure you always get the facts from all the drivers involved. This includes, name, address, contact info, and insurance information. Look at their drivers license info to get their name and address if possible. Also get the license number of the cars involved plus their make, model and color. Write down the date, time of day, street you’re on and where the accident took place. Make sure you keep all this information handy for record purposes.
  7. Call your  agent. You should do this from the scene of the accident if possible. For this reason, you should have their contact information on you at all times.

Collectible Car  Coverage

If you want to insure your collectible or vintage car, from antiques to modifieds, hot rods to kit cars, you will need to get “specialty” insurance. Many of the big name companies offer it, either themselves or broker another company which specializes in this type of insurance coverage. These types of cars are not your standard automobiles and that’s why specialty insurance coverage is so important.

Here are the types of cars that normally need collectible car insurance:

  • Antique Cars
  • Classic Cars
  • Custom Cars
  • Exotic Cars
  • Hot Rods
  • Kit Cars
  • Modified Cars
  • Muscle Cars
  • Replicars
  • Woodies

This type of insurance also covers various foreign and domestic sports cars.

The definition, with regard to insurance, of a classic car is one that is least eleven years old and in outstanding condition. Hot rods covered are usually cars that were made before 1950. For more detailed information, please check with your agent. 

Cars That Are More Affordable to Insure

Last week, we listed some cars that offered a low rate  based on model. We did some more extensive research and found these cars also offered a solid value insurance-wise:

    • 3.2 TL
    • 3.5 RL
    • MD-X
    • Century
    • Le Sabre
    • Regal
    • Eldorado
    • Astro
    • Avalanche
    • Cavalier
    • Express Van
    • Impala
    • Malibu LS
    • Suburban
    • Tahoe
    • Tracker
    • Prowler
    • Town and Country
    • Caravan Sport
    • Durango
    • Grand Caravan EX & Sport
    • Intrepid
  • FORD
    • Escape
    • Escort
    • Excursion
    • Expedition
    • F-Series Pickup
    • Ranger
    • Taurus
    • Windstar
  • GMC
    • Envoy
    • PU Sierra
    • PU Sonoma
    • Safari
    • Savana
    • Accord
    • CRV
    • Odyssey
    • Passport LX
    • Pilot
    • Santa Fe
    • Sonata
    • Rodeo
    • 626
    • Miata
    • MPV
    • PU B-Series
    • Tribute
    • S430
    • CLK 320/430
    • ML
    • SLK 230
    • Grand Marquis
    • Mountaineer
    • Sable
    • Montero Sport
    • Altima
    • PU Frontier Series
    • Maxima GLE
    • Pathfinder
    • Quest
    • Xterra
    • Aurora
    • Bravada
    • Intrigue
    • Silhouette
    • Aztek
    • Firebird
    • Grand Prix GT/GTP
    • Montana
    • Sunfire
  • SAAB
    • 9 - 3 Series
    • L/LW Series
    • SC/SL Series
    • Legacy
    • Legacy Outback
    • 4-Runner
    • Avalon XLS
    • Camry
    • Highlander
    • RAV4
    • Sequoia
    • Sienna
    • Tundra
    • Cabrio
    • Golf
    • GTI
    • Jetta
    • New Beetle
    • Passat
    • C70
    • S40
    • S70/S80
    • V70