Thursday, January 26, 2012

Safe Driving this Winter #Esurance

It’s been a challenge getting around to writing lately.  We’ve been on the road quite a bit.  First it was holiday travel; we did Christmas with my family at my sister’s—two and half hours south of here.  Then we did Christmas with my husband’s family, an hour and a half north of here.  Then, because we hadn’t had a chance to spend time in my husband’s home town, we ventured 4 ½ hours north over the three day weekend.   It didn’t help that it was the Friday of a three day weekend when we headed North, or that this was the first real snow they had gotten there this season, or that every snowmobiler in a 300 mile radius was headed that way too.
With all of our running, we’ve learned to observe several tips for staying safe while driving in winter conditions.
Slow Down.--  You aren’t really in that big of a hurry anyway.  And you’d rather arrive safely.
Vehichle Upkeep.-- Before hitting the road on one of our adventures, we always make sure our tires are filled, oil is changed and all fluids (especially the windshield wiper fluids are full.  In our case, we use windshield fluid with antifreeze included.  In the winter, it makes a huge difference.  On winter trip back from college in Tennessee, I learned the value of antifreeze in the wiper fluid.  Salt and road grime gathered on my windshield because the regular stuff froze in the lines, yuck!  Nothing can be worse than breaking down and having to change a tire in a blizzard.
Keep your eyes on the road—You will see much better if you plan to travel in daylight.  I recommend a pair of sunglasses for that snow glare.  Besides, you really don’t want to get stuck in a snow bank, with the kids in the car in the dark. Bring plenty of snacks and toys for the kids, so they can stay entertained and you can keep your eyes where they should be. 
Safe distance—Keep some distance between you and the car in front of you.  It’s easy to slip and slide in icy conditions, so give yourself plenty of space to slow down and stop.
Seatbelt—Always buckle up.   Always make sure your kids are securely and properly buckled it.
Cell phone.—Have it on you and have it well charged in case of an emergency
Emergency kit—Things happen, so be prepared.  Have blankets, water and food in your car.  Don’t forget a simple first aide kit.  When I first learned to drive, my father always had 50 lbs. bags of kitty litter or  road salt over the rear axle.  This helped keep the rear axle from fish tailing, but could also be used to help gain traction if I got stuck.
Take the time to warm and clear your car.  Warming up your vehicle will both help your engine run smoother and will help keep you windows clear for better visibility.
  All and all, we have been pretty blessed with a mild winter this year and I hope it lasts.  I wish you all safe driving, where ever your adventures take you.  If you have more suggestions for safe winter driving, be sure to share them on the esurance facebook page.

{I wrote this blog post while participating in the SocialMoms and Esurance blogging program for 8,000 My SocialMoms Rewards Points. For more information on how you can participate, click here.}