During the winter months, driving can be a potentially dangerous activity. Accident rates increase because of poor visibility and bad road conditions. Even the most cautious drivers may find themselves involved in a car accident because of the winter weather. Sometimes cars are damaged in the winter in non-accident situations as well. It is therefore important to know what kinds of hazards to watch for and how to protect your wallet from costly repairs.
Winter Hazards for Vehicles
Roads are transformed during the winter season from easily navigable, clearly marked thoroughfares to slippery, ice-covered accident traps. If you plan to drive at all during the winter months, here are some common hazards to watch for:
- Built up snow: Snow that builds up on the road can appear shallow, but may be several inches or more than a foot deep. Cars can easily get stuck in snow and occupants may become trapped or stranded.
- Ice patches: Ice on the roads makes the surface slippery and can cause a driver to lose control, possibly veering off the road or causing an accident.
- Black ice: “Black” ice is actually clear ice that appears black because the road is visible underneath. It is difficult to see on the roadway, which can lead a driver to think the road is clear and not take the appropriate caution.
- Winter storms: Winter storms can turn a clear road into a low-visibility, slippery hazard in a matter of hours or even minutes.
- Snow and ice build up on the car: Snow and ice that builds up on a vehicle’s components can damage the car, leading to costly repairs.
When operating a vehicle during the winter, always make sure to drive cautiously, stay under the speed limit, and brake only when necessary. Check the weather before you head out and, if it looks too dangerous, stay indoors. Keep your vehicle in the garage or covered when not in use, if possible, to avoid ice and snow build up. When preparing to drive, give your car ample time to warm up before trying to operate it.
For information on the types of insurance that can protect you from costly vehicle repairs in the event of a winter driving accident, contact a friendly Chicago car insurance professional of Insure on the Spot today at 773-202-5060.