Car Safety Tips


Make Your Tires A Top Priority

Taking care of your tires not only keeps you safe, but it can also save you money!  Tire maintinance improves their performance, handling, and increases their life span.  It also leads to a better ride and lower gas mileage.  Who wouldn’t love that?  Especially when a new set of tires usually carries a hefty price tag.

There are a few different things to look out for when it comes to tire safety:

Tire Pressure – This is one of the most important things to watch when it comes to your tires.  Low tire pressure can lead to decreased control of the vehicle, uneven wear and tear, increased gas consumption, and even accidents.  Did you know that a tire can lose up to half of it’s pressure without even appearing to be flat?  Overinflated tires are just as dangerous, they can easily explode, wear out quickly, and make the vehicle more difficult to handle.  So, how do you make sure your tires are at the perfect pressure?  Ideally, you should check their pressure every month and before long trips.  Don’t forget to check the spare tire as well!  You can find information on the ideal tire pressure for your car in the owner’s manual or possibly on the door post.  If your tires are low on pressure, you can fill them up for a minimal price at any gas station that offers an air pump.

Alignment – Making sure your tires are properly aligned is important because if your suspension is out of whack, your tires can wear unevenly or cause handling problems such as “pulling”.  How can your tires get out of line?  Potholes or bumpy roads are the major culprits.  Refer to your owner’s manual for specifics on how often you should check the alignment, and have a tire dealer check it out for you as often as is recommended.

Rotate Your Tires – Having your tires rotated evenly distributes the wear and tear on your tires.    The weight of the car is distributed differently which causes each tire to wear differently.  By rotating your tires, you can elongate the life of them, which will save you money in the long run.  Your owner’s manual should have a specific recommendation for how often the tires should be rotated but if not, most tires need to be rotated every 5,000 miles.

Check The Tread – The tread on your tires is what helps them cling to the road, and is especially important in the rain and snow.  You can visually check the tread to make sure the tires are in good shape.  Look for tiny “wear bars” which are small, raised bars of rubber on the tires.  Watch out for smooth parts of the tire which are “bald”.  The easiest way to test the tread on your tires can be done with a penny.  Put Lincoln’s head in one of the grooves of the tire, if you can see part of his head, your tires are fine.  If you can see all of Lincoln’s head, you need to replace the tire.

Maintaining your tires is one of the most important things you can do for your car.  By regularly checking the pressure, tread, alignment, and rotating the tires you can extend the life of your tires, which will only save you money in the long run.  Not to mention the fact that it is an important tip that will help keep you and your family safe!

Sources: Rubber Manufacturers Association

Dummies.com

Photo By: deltaMike

 

 

 

 

Driving With Your Pet? Make Sure They’re As Safe As Possible!

Many pet owners enjoying bringing their furry friend on the road with them whether they are traveling near or far.  In fact did you know that according to the American Pet Product Manufacturers Association (APPMA) 2006 National Pet Owner Survey, 84% of pet owners say they travel with their pet in automobiles?  If you are one of these animal lovers that likes to bring your pet for a ride, follow these tips to ensure that it is as safe as possible.

  • Safely Secure Your Pet!  It is extremely dangerous to leave your pet unrestrained in a moving vehicle.  If there were ever to be an accident or even a sudden stop, your pet would be in serious danger.  They could easily fly through the windshield or injur the driver and any passengers in the car.  The best way to secure a dog or cat is to put them in a travel crate that is tied down.  A pet harness/seatbelt is also a viable option, especially for large dogs.
  • Never attach a restraint device to an animal’s collar.  Should the animal jerk one way or be involved in an accident, it could lead to strangulation or injury.
  • Don’t let your pets ride with their head out the window!  Even though many pets enjoy feeling the breeze through their hair, it is hazardous for them because dirt and bugs can easily get caught in their nose, ears, mouth, or throat which may lead to health problems down the road.  There is also always the chance that a nearby object such as a street sign may strike their head and result in injury or death.
  • Never leave your pet inside a parked car!  Imagine being stuck inside a sweltering car with the windows up on a hot summer day?  Now imagine wearing a fur coat on top of that.  Leaving your pet inside a parked car on a hot or even warm day can lead to heat stroke or even death.  Cold weather is just as dangerous for pets, so avoid a potential tragedy and don’t leave your pet in a parked car no matter what the weather is like.
  • Bring some extra water and food for your pet, especially if you’re going on a long drive.  All animals, but especially dogs tend to get excited in the car which makes them pant more.  Panting will make them thirsty so having some extra water will come in handy, and the food or treats are good in case you’re traveling a long distance.
  • If you’re taking a long drive, stop every few hours to stretch and let your pet go to the bathroom.  Make sure you have their leash handy as well so you have control of them in an unfamiliar area.
  • If you’re bringing your pet on vacation with you, create a travel tag that you can attach to their collar.  Write down exactly where you’ll be staying and the best phone number to reach you.  Should you and your pet get separated, it will be much easier for you to be reunited once your pet is found.

If you’re traveling with your pet, it is your responsibility to make their safety a priority!  Follow these tips next time you’re in the car with your furry friend, it will ensure a fun and safe car ride!

Source: Pet Travel Center

Photo By: ~ggvic~

 

 

Protect Yourself Against Auto Theft While Saving On Your Insurance!

Did you know that over 30,000 cars were stolen in Massachusetts last year alone?  That’s a lot of stolen cars and even more of an inconvenience for the victims of theft.  If this were to happen to you, what would you do?  Would you know who to call or if you were even protected against theft in your insurance policy?  The tips and information that follow will set you in the right direction should your car get stolen, and will tell you how to prevent it from being stolen in the first place.

Many people believe that standard liability coverage will protect them should their car get stolen, however this is not the case.  The only coverage that can protect you against auto theft is comprehensive coverage.  This coverage applies to the loss of the vehicle as well as any parts that might be stolen, such as the air bag.  Comprehensive coverage also protects you against fire, vandalism, and weather related damage.

Although comprehensive coverage is not mandatory, it is recommended especially if you have a new or high value car.  In fact, having comprehensive and collision coverage can get you a discount of up to 20%  from your insurance company!  Another way to get a discount?  Having an auto recovery device such as LoJack or OnStar can also get you an anti-theft discount of up to 25%.  These devices allow law enforcement to track your vehicle through a transmitter, which will hopefully lead to it’s recovery.

Of course the best way to protect yourself against auto theft is to take simple steps the make sure your vehicle is not a target.  Definitely don’t leave any valuables in the car, especially if they are visible through the window, this makes you an easy target for car thieves.  Also, try to park in well-lit areas whenever possible, thieves will be less likely to try and break into your car if there is more of a possibility that they will be seen.  Of course locking your doors and setting an alarm are great deterrents as well.

If your car does happen to get stolen, call the police first!  Your insurance company will not process a claim for a stolen vehicle unless there is a police report.  After you call the police, contact your insurance company and let them know what happened.  Make sure to have your policy number ready when you call so that they can easily assist you.

Lastly, if you happen to witness an auto theft, call the Governor’s Auto Theft Strike Force at 1-800-HOT-AUTO.  It is a confidential and toll free auto theft tip line that gives Massachusetts residents the opportunity to combat auto thieves.  If you provide information to this hotline that leads to the arrest of a car thief or the location of a chop shop, you could receive a confidential cash reward of up to $10,000!  That’s a serious benefit for doing some good!  Reporting an auto thief or chop shop makes life easier for everyone, because these theives not only affect the victims of their auto theft, but everyone who lives in that town.  The more theft and accidents that occur in a town, the more expensive the insurance premium will be for every resident of that town.

Car thieves are a problem for all of us, make sure that you are protected under your insurance policy, and if you witness an auto theft in person, call the Governor’s Auto Theft Strike Force, not only could you potentially stop a car thief, but it could lead to a reward!  Sounds like a win-win situation all around!

Photo By: Foxtongue

 

May Is National Bike Month!

Did you know that May is National Bike Month?  Biking is a popular activity across the country, not only is it a great way to exercise, it is also good for the environment and your budget!  However, biking can also be dangerous, especially in highly populated environments and busy roads.  In honor of Bike Month, we’ve found some tips for bikers and drivers sharing the road to make sure that both parties are as safe as possible.

Bikers and drivers may not like to share the road, but it is a reality of our everyday lives and being informed could save a life!  Bikers have more mobility on the roads than drivers which can make their presence extremely dangerous.  They also have less protection from the elements, and if they get hit by a car the outcome will be much worse for them than it would be for someone enclosed in their steel car.   Whether you are in your car or on a bike, following these tips will make sure the road is as safe as possible for all.

Bikers:

  • Follow the law.  Bikers are subject to the same rules as drivers when it comes to stop signs and  traffic signals.  Biker’s also need to ride with traffic and stay in the far right lane in relation to the direction they’re traveling.
  • Be alert to your own surroundings as well as others.  Don’t forget that someone in a car has no idea what your next move will be.  Signal turns as early as you would if you were driving, and always be sure to check behind you for oncoming traffic when changing lanes.  Try not to swerve between parked cars, it’s better to stay in view of all cars on the road.  Try to anticipate their next move as well!  Watch out for turning vehicles and avoid riding outside of the door zone on parked cars.
  • Stay conspicuous, wear bright colors and reflective gear if possible whenever you ride.  Making sure a driver sees you is the first step in making sure they don’t hit you.
  • Stay off of the sidewalk!  It may seem safer than the road but is actually one of the leading causes of crashes.
  • Make sure that your bike is in tip top shape before taking it out for a ride.  Check the tires, make sure that the chain is smooth, and check the handle brakes if necessary.  It doesn’t hurt to be prepared by carrying around small tools for emergency repairs as well!
  • Wear a helmet!  Not all dangers on the road come from cars, accidents happen and even the most skilled cyclist can have an unexpected fall.

 

Drivers:

  • Slow down!  Don’t make any sudden moves or honk your horn, these distractions could cause a frightened biker to accidentally swerve into the road.
  • When passing a biker, stay atleast 3 feet away from them to make sure you don’t accidently clip them.  This may mean that you have to move into the opposite lane slightly, so make sure that there are no cars coming.
  • Although all bikers can be unpredictable, kids are especially dangerous.  Keep a sharp eye on them, especailly if you are trying to pass them.
  • Always check for bicyclists when turning a corner or in a busy neighborhood, they move fast and can be hard to see.

Keep these rules in mind every month of the year!  Although bike month will come to an end, it is a great reminder of the rules we should all be following when sharing the road!

Safety tips from: The League of American Bicyclists and VIA Magazine

Photo By: Martin Cathrae

 

Distracted Driving Awareness

Distracted driving is an ongoing issue that continues to endanger thousands of drivers each year.  Since April is distracted driving awareness month, we wanted to get some of the facts about this dangerous habit and help spread awareness.

So what is distracted driving exactly?  Basically it is anything that takes a driver’s eyes off the road, hands off of the wheel, or mind off of driving.  It can be an action as simple as changing the radio or reaching for something in the seat next to you.  The best example would be talking on the phone or texting while driving.  Texting is in fact one of the worst distractions facing drivers.  It takes your mind and eyes off the road as well as your hands off of the wheel.

Even if it seems like reading or sending a text is not a big deal, it takes your attention away from driving and increases the odds of an accident.  Hands-free cell phone use isn’t much safer, research has shown that even cognitive distractions hinder a driver’s ability to pick up on audio and visual cues that could potentially prevent an accident.

You may think that distracted driving is not as dangerous as it is made out to be, but the statistics related to it have proven otherwise.  Did you know that in 2010 over 3,000 people were killed in distracted driving accidents? According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the youngest and most inexperienced drivers are at risk, about 16% of distracted driving accidents involve drivers under the age of 20.

Did you also know that at any point during daylight hours, there are about 800,000 vehicles on the road being driven by someone using a hand-held cell phone.  That’s a lot of distraction that not only endangers the driver, but everyone else on the road as well.

Why isn’t distracted driving illegal in all states you may ask?  It’s because State law has jurisdiction over passenger car driving.   More and more states are passing tougher laws when it comes to distracted driving, and Massachusetts is one of them.  All drivers are banned from texting and junior operators are banned from any cell phone use whatsoever.  Bus drivers are also banned from any cell phone use.

What are some tips for safe driving?  The first step is being aware of what it is and the damage it can cause.  Next, be sure to avoid any and all cell phone use while driving.  If you listen to music in the car,  choose a CD or and iPod playlist that doesn’t have commercials so you don’t have to change the channel or skip songs.   You can also take the Pledge to drive phone-free today and encourage family and friends to do the same.  Distracted driving is entirely preventable and the accidents it causes are avoidable.  Protect yourself and others on the road by taking all precautions to avoid distractions on the road.

Want to keep your car safe from distracted drivers on the road? MassDrive offers more information on car insurance.

All information and statistics were obtained from the Official US Government Website for Distracted Driving.

Photo By: OregonDOT

April Showers Bring May Flowers: Make Sure You are Driving Safely in the Rain!

April is famous for it’s rain showers, but are you driving safely in the rain? Driving through precipitation is much different and more dangerous than typical driving.  Not only do you have to be more alert, you also have to take special precautions that you normally wouldn’t.  Keep in mind that following these suggestions could save your life or the lives of others.

Make Sure Your Car is Ready- There are certain parts of your car that you want to be sure are working properly before you head out in the rain.  First and foremost, your windshield wipers.  Without these your vision is extremely limited in the rain so if you need new ones don’t wait!  You also want to make sure your tires are in good shape.  Once tires age and the grooves in them get worn down it is harder for them to keep their traction on the road when it is raining, which makes it easier to hydroplane.  Lastly, check and make sure that all of your lights are working, you will be needing them in the rain to improve visibility.

Reduce Your Speed- One of the biggest dangers of driving in the rain is the risk that your car will hydroplane.  This is when the combination of high speed and rain results in the tires lifting off of the ground and skidding across the water.  You can hydroplane at 40 MPH or higher which is why it is so important to reduce your speed, especially if you are on the highway. If you do start to hydroplane,  don’t slam on the break or jerk the wheel, which could cause you to spin out, instead steer straight and take your foot off the gas until car regains traction and you have control once again.

Keep Your Distance- You know that rule that no one follows that tells you to keep the length of 3 cars between yourself and the car in front of you? Driving in the rain is one of the times that you want to abide this tip since it takes longer to stop.  You don’t want to end up rear ending the car in front of you because you were following too closely and your brakes failed or reacted slower than usual in the rain.  Be sure to keep away from trucks as well, their large tires spray a lot of water behind them that can limit visibility even with the windshield wipers on.

Avoid Puddles- Steer clear of big puddles on the road.  If possible, stay towards the middle of the road, most roads tend to rise in the middle which causes water to runoff to the sides, increasing the risk for a giant puddle.  Driving through them can cause a lot of damage underneath your car and make it dangerous or impossible to keep driving. If water gets inside your car’s engine compartment, it could severely damage the car’s internal electric system.  This water can potentially soak or ruin the brakes as well.  If there’s no way for you to avoid a puddle on the road, test your brakes by gently tapping them to make sure they are working once you are out of the puddle.  If they are not working, continue to tap the brake. This can help if your brakes are damp, it may create enough heat to dry them out so you can keep driving.

Always Turn On Headlights- Whether it is raining, snowing, or just foggy, it’s always a good idea to turn on your headlights.  It helps improve your vision and helps other drivers see you, which reduces the risk of an accident.

Pull Over- If you find yourself in a situation where it is pouring, thundering, or lightening so badly that it affects your visibility or is distracting you, pull over and wait out the storm.  It’s not worth it to continue on in treacherous conditions if it is potentially dangerous.

These tips are simple adjustments to make when you are driving in the rain.  Not only will they make your journey easier, it will also be safer for yourself as well as everyone else on the road.  Many accidents that happen when it is raining could have been prevented if the driver’s would have used more caution.  Next time you are out and about in the car and it starts to rain, use these tips to make sure you are not endangering yourself or anyone else on the road.

Sources:

edmunds.com

smartmotorist.com

Photo By: jiggoja

 

Texting While Driving in Massachusetts: Know The Laws


Driving while on a cell phone has undoubtedly led to accidents on the road which could have been prevented.  Massachusetts lawmakers continue to push for stricter regulations against cell phone use while driving.  For those of you that aren’t exactly sure what the current laws are, we’ve done some research so that you can be sure you are in compliance next time you go out for a drive.

Currently, the only law that restricts talking on a cell phone while driving applies to drivers under the age of 18 with a learner’s permit or provisional license.  Violators will have their license or learner’s permit suspended.  Junior Operator’s Licenses or Learner’s Permits will be suspended for 60 days for a first offense, 180 days for a second offense, and 1 year for a third or subsequent violation.
http://www.suspendedlicensehelp.com/blog/post/Massachusetts-to-Ban-Texting-JOL-Cell-Phone-Use-While-Driivng.aspx

While licensed drivers over the age of 18 are allowed to talk on the phone while driving, all drivers are banned from texting or other Internet activity when behind the wheel.  If found texting while driving, drivers will be fined $100 for their first offense, then $250, and then $500 for additional infractions.

This law may be frustrating for some drivers but there is good reason for it.  You may think that sending a quick text is no big deal but  texting drivers are 23 times more likely to get involved in a crash.  Sadly, statistics  like this have not been enough to keep drivers from texting behind the wheel which is why bans like this are becoming more common than ever across the country.
http://www.distraction.gov/content/get-the-facts/faq.html

In addition to these bans,  school bus operators and any public transit drivers are prohibited from any cell phone use whatsoever while driving, which is enforced with a $500 fine. http://handsfreeinfo.com/massachusetts-cell-phone-laws-legislation

As we said there is currently no ban on cell phone use (other than texting) on licensed drivers over the age of 18, however, a bill has recently been introduced in Massachusetts that would only allow for hands-free cell phone use.  This would mean that drivers would need to have a docking station for their phone that would allow them to utilize the speaker phone feature, use headphones, or a Bluetooth to allow for driving with both hands on the wheel.  This bill is yet to be passed.
http://e-lobbyist.com/gaits/MA/H3938

While many drivers see these laws as a nuisance, their purpose is to protect everyone on the road from the dangers of distracted driving.

Protect Your GPS From Theft

Driver side car break-in, Safeguard anti-theft notice with broken glass, so much for Toyota Security, all thief had to do is break the window, Llandover Park, North Seattle, Washington, USA

Now that we’ve listed our top picks for the best GPS, it’s time to talk about protecting your navigation system. GPS systems are  expensive which makes them a valuable target for thieves. We’ve found some of the tops tips out there for GPS protection, and here are the best:

GPS systems have significantly increased the instances of car break-ins across the country. With a street value of about $100-$150, they are very easy to sell which makes them appealing to thieves who are looking for a quick buck. FBI statistics show there were nearly 5,500 reports of GPS thefts in 2007. In 2008 it was more than 31,000. Those numbers should encourage all GPS owners to bring their systems inside regardless of how safe they believe their neighborhood is. Thieves are also more likely to strike in areas with a high population such as a crowded parking lot in a school, mall, apartment complex, etc. This makes cities such as Boston a prime target as there are many cars lined up together and it is easier and faster for potential thieves to scope out targets. Be especially conscious of these locations and try to park in well-lit areas whenever possible. http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/24392168/ns/business-consumer_news/t/protect-your-gps-unit-car-thieves/#.T1egG12wVzQ

Nowadays GPS systems are extremely popular and considered to be a necessity by many drivers, and unfortunately their popularity is another factor that makes them more appealing to thieves. According to GPS tracking manufacturer, LandAirSea, about 7 out of 10 drivers use a GPS system so thieves are willing to try their luck and search many different cars for these valuable devices. GPS systems have also been reported as one of the top ten items stolen from vehicles. Unfortunately, their street value and availability are what make them such appealing items to steal. http://gpssystems.net/protecting-gps-systems-car-thieves/

Thieves will typically target any car, but those with GPS systems that are visible are especially easy targets since they know they will definitely walk away with something. The best thing to do is bring your GPS inside or at least put it in the dashboard (although this is an obvious hiding spot). However, even if they can’t see it, if a thief believes you have a GPS in your car they may be tempted to smash your window and look inside the car, and replacing a car window can be more expensive than the GPS itself. Don’t leave any hints that you have anything valuable in the car, so put away the charger, stand, and if your GPS has a suction cup that clings to the window, clean off the ring it leaves around the windshield to hide any and all signs of your GPS. Taking these preventative measures should eliminate all signs of your GPS and give would-be thieves no reason to suspect you have valuables inside your car. http://www.komonews.com/news/consumer/17932074.html

Having a visible GPS or any signs of such a device makes you an easy target for thieves, which can be a scary thought! Make sure to utilize these GPS safety tips next time you are out, parking in well lit areas or taking the extra minute to pack up your GPS and bring it inside can make all the difference! Consider renters insurance to cover your belongings, possibly including your GPS. Talk to a MassDrive agent today about how a renters policy might help protect you from theft.

Super Bowl Safety – Are You Ready for Super Bowl Sunday?

Super Bowl Sunday

The Super Bowl is a true American tradition, and this year in Massachusetts, there is an even higher level of anticipation than usual – the Patriots will face off with the Giants! But have you thought about Super Bowl safety?

Whichever team you’re rooting for this Super Bowl Sunday, make sure you’re ready when you get behind the wheel. It’s not just the wintry New England weather that you’ll need to be prepared for – Super Bowl Sunday can be dangerous on the roads because of all the parties. Super Bowl drunk driving is rampant – more drivers are involved in alcohol-related accidents on Super Bowl Sunday than any day of the year besides St. Patrick’s Day, according to the Insurance Information Institute. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 48% of U.S. traffic fatalities on Super Bowl Sunday are alcohol related.

The best thing you can do to stay safe on Super Bowl Sunday is be prepared. Make plans in advance and include finding a designated driver in your game day preparations. If you find yourself in need, but without a designated driver after the game (and hopefully those drinks will have been celebratory!), there are many alternatives to getting behind the wheel. Call a cab, take public transportation, book a room, or if you must get home with your car on Sunday night, the Tipsy Tow will pick you, your car and as many friends will fit in the truck up and bring you back home. Call 1-800-AAA-HELP (1-800-222-4357), anywhere in the US and Canada, 24 hours per day, 7 days per week to request the Tipsy Tow.

If you’re throwing a Super Bowl party, create a safer party environment by making sure you have plenty of food to serve along with alcoholic beverages, so no one drinks on an empty stomach. You could also offer non-alcoholic beverages as well, so everyone has something to sip on during the game. There are so many Super Bowl recipes, and many of them are easy! A simple Google or Pinterest search will have armed with tons of ideas for snacks that will help keep your party safe.

Whatever your plans this Sunday, everyone at MassDrive wishes you a safe and fun Super Bowl. Go Patriots!

Photo by chipgriffin

Have to Drive in the Snow? Winter Driving Safety Tips

Snow Covered Car

After last weekend’s storm and the upcoming snow expected to arrive this Sunday, it is extremely important to keep in mind a few winter driving safety tips during this winter weather.  This time of year results in snow, ice, and sleet, all of which create hazardous road conditions for the most experienced of drivers. Drivers are highly recommended to stay indoors in such weather, however if you must venture out wait until plows and sand trucks have gone by.  If you find yourself in a situation where driving in the snow can’t be avoided, keep these simple defensive winter driving tips in mind to improve your safety on the road:

  • Allot extra time to get to your destination.  It is vital to decrease your speed while driving in the snow, and you should also leave about three times more space than usual between yourself and the car in front of you to give yourself plenty of time to stop.  Getting on the road 20 minutes earlier than you usually do should give you enough time to drive slowly and safely and also reach you destination on time.
  • If your car starts skidding, don’t panic!  Slamming on the breaks and turning the wheel to avoid a crash are actually more likely to result in an accident.  If you are sliding on ice and your tires suddenly regain their grip, the car will turn whichever way the tires are pointed, which can be detrimental if you have suddenly jerked the steering wheel in a certain direction. The appropriate reaction to this situation depends on which wheels are actually skidding out, front or back.  If your back tires are skidding out and you have begun to “fishtail”, take your foot off the gas, steer the car in the direction that the back tires are skidding in, and gently apply the break.  You may have to steer from right to left until you regain control of the vehicle.  If your front tires begin to skid, take your foot off the gas and shift to neutral, this will slow the car down as the wheels skid sideways, and you will slowly regain traction.
  • ALWAYS drive with your lights on in the snow, even if the sun is still out.  Visibility is much lower when it is snowing which is why it is so important to keep your lights on and make yourself known to other drivers.
  • Check your levels of windshield wiper fluid!  This fluid is helpful in improving visibility as it can be used to melt snow and ice on the windshield.  It definitely won’t replace a scraper, but it can be helpful if you find yourself driving in the midst of a storm or have a light layer of snow or ice on your car.
  • Use extra caution when driving over bridges as they are more likely to freeze first. Unlike roads, which only lose heat from their surface, bridges are more exposed to the wind and therefore lose heat on all sides, top and bottom.  This results in snow and rain freezing more rapidly, which often leads to black ice.
  • Do not use cruise control. In conditions that are more dangerous than usual it is important to have as much control over the car as you possibly can. Utilizing the cruise control ability of a car can delay your reaction time should your car begin to skid.
  • Do not attempt to pass by snow plows. These trucks typically have limited visibility and you’re better off sticking behind them and driving on a freshly plowed road, than passing them and struggling with roads that are full of snow.
  • Should your car get stuck in the snow, do not hit the gas!  This will only spin your wheels and dig you in deeper, instead turn the wheel from left to right in an attempt to loosen snow from around the tires.  Keep a bag of salt, sand, or even kitty litter in your trunk, these can all be sprinkled around tires that are stuck to gain traction.
  • Consider alternate forms of transportation.  On snowy days it may be more convenient and safer to rely on public transportation such as trains or buses.  If they are not in service due to the weather, take it as a hint that you shouldn’t be out driving either.
  • Make sure you have proper car insurance coverage for the risks on winter roads. If you are unsure what types of coverage you need, call a MassDrive agent to learn more.

At MassDrive we want all drivers out there to practice safe winter driving.  These simple tips can go a long way when it comes to ensuring that you will be as safe as possible on the roads this winter.

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