Time to Prepare for Winter Driving - Part I

The Illinois Insurance Hotline offered tips to help drivers reach their destinations safely.

  • Take it slow. This applies to accelerating, braking, turning, and driving down the roadway.
  • Leave extra distance between your car and the vehicles around you.
  • Carry a cell phone. Keep in mind, however, that making or receiving a cell phone call (even hands-free) is distracting. Texting behind the wheel is illegal. Use your cell phone only in emergency. Avoid these and other distractions to focus on driving.
  • Clear windows of frost, ice, and snow before putting the car in gear. Place a snow brush and ice scraper in the vehicle. Consider carrying blanket, gloves, hat, snacks, and water in your vehicle as well.
  • Keep the gas tank at least half full.
  • Maintain your vehicle. Confirm tires are properly inflated; replace worn tires; install new windshield wipers if necessary; fill fluid reservoirs; inspect lights and bulbs and change as needed; verify brakes operate properly; confirm the vehicle defrost system works.
  • Check travel conditions before leaving home, and allow extra time to reach your destination.

Winter driving can be hazardous, and safe driving habits are essential. Unfortunately, even defensive drivers have occasional accidents. Study your insurance policy, its coverages, and the claim process to confirm adequate protection is in place before a crash occurs.