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AAA offers winter driving tips to reduce accidents and auto insurance claims

Drivers can take steps to be safer and make fewer auto insurance claims

The American Automobile Association offered several winter driving tips in its latest newsletter, suggesting that drivers should be prepared and alert when road conditions are less than ideal.

The association suggests that drivers invest in an emergency kit with first aid supplies, road markers and a jumper cable. Other winter necessities are cat litter – to provide traction in case a driver’s car gets stuck in ice or snow – and snow-clearing tools like shovels, brushes and scrapers.

Drivers should slow down in the winter, says AAA, because cars can take much longer to brake in slippery conditions. The average car takes 30 to 50 percent more distance to stop when road conditions are icy or snowy.

And intersections are especially dangerous, claims the association, because ice and snow are at their slipperiest when they just start to melt. Cars idling at intersections throw off heat that can melt snow or ice.

Drivers should know both their cars’ limits and their own, adds AAA. Remain calm in winter driving, AAA suggests, and know that four-wheel-drive vehicles won’t bend the laws of physics.

“Don’t get lulled into a false sense of security just because you have a car with four-wheel-drive,” said AAA traffic safety manager John Paul.

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Posted: November 30, 2009

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