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Drive slowly to avoid accidents and auto insurance claims, insurance institute suggests

Winter driving requires special precautions, the III advises

Drivers facing slippery, low-visibility conditions should slow down and be extra-careful, the Insurance Information Institute says.

Allowing extra time to get to a destination during the winter will make drivers less likely to speed, the III notes. And, according to a National Highway Transportation Safety Administration study, “driving too fast for conditions” was a factor in 22 percent of fatal crashes in 2007. The only behavior that was more dangerous was “running off the road,” which was a factor in 28 percent of deadly accidents.

Planning ahead can help drivers too, the III advises. Drivers should carry a cell phone when they set out, and drivers who keep their gas tanks full will be less likely to get stranded. Properly inflated tires are an essential component of road safety, as well.

If a driver finds that his tires are losing traction, adds, he should slow down gradually. Just easing off the accelerator can be sufficient to prevent total loss of control; steering in the desired direction can help.

Winter driving requires special precautions. To lower the risk of a serious accident and an auto insurance claim, drivers need to change their habits when road conditions are less than ideal.

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Posted: December 23, 2009

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