Winter Driving: Towing Insurance, Safety Precautions Can Save Yo - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Winter Driving: Towing Insurance, Safety Precautions Can Save You Headaches

OFFICIAL PRESS RELEASE: Today's snowstorm is a reminder of how winter weather can wreak havoc on roads and lead to accidents and potential injuries. 

With holiday travel around the corner, it's important for vehicle owners to make sure they have the right insurance.  Auto Insurance can help alleviate many of the financial headaches caused by car accidents, depending on your coverage and deductibles.

"Winter-driving conditions can range from normal, dry roads to snow and ice within several miles, depending on where you're going," said Karl Newman, NW Insurance Council president.  "Drivers heading for winter sports activities, or crossing the mountains to visit friends and relatives can see the weather change in minutes."

Consider towing coverage as a safeguard in the event you do slide off the road or you're involved in an accident.  Most Auto Insurance policies do not automatically cover towing. Towing coverage is usually available for $10 to $20 more per year and provides towing for other hazards such as vehicle breakdown.

Check your policy or call your insurance company or agent to verify whether or not you have towing coverage.

It's also important to take the appropriate safety measures.  NW Insurance Council offers these winter-weather driving tips to help you and your family safely get to your destination:

  • Be sure you have the right coverage in your auto policy.  Optional Comprehensive Coverage pays for vehicle damages other than those caused by a collision, overturn, depreciation and normal wear and tear.  Examples of what is covered include: theft of the vehicle, fire, hail, windstorm, flooding, glass breakage and damage caused by a collision with animals such as deer. Covered perils are listed in your policy. Be sure to review exclusions. This coverage is also available with a deductible. 
  • Before your trip, know the current road conditions and the forecast for your route and destination.
  • If you're crossing mountains, take chains or other traction devices.  If possible, install studded tires before your trip.
  • Keep an emergency, winter driving kit in your car.  The kit should include blankets, water, high-energy snacks, and highway warning devices, flares, flashlights and batteries.
  • Be aware of potentially dangerous icy areas such as shady spots, bridges and overpasses. Approach these areas with caution.  These areas are usually the first places to get icy, and often the ice is invisible.
  • Stay on main roads as much as possible.  Road crews normally clear main roads and highways first.  In case of an emergency, you have a better chance of getting help on a main route.
  • If you start to slide, avoid over-acceleration, pump your brakes gently and steer into the direction of the slide.
  • If you have anti-lock brakes, do not pump your brakes.  Instead, press firmly on the brake pedal and hold it down, allowing the anti-lock mechanism to work.
  • Drive with your headlights on low beam when driving in falling snow.  Low beam provides better illumination in snow than high beam.

For more information on winter-weather driving, contact NW Insurance Council at (800) 664-4942 or visit http://www.nwinsurance.org.

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