The winter will always bring with it precarious driving conditions. Whether it’s icy roads, heavy snowfall, low visibility, or any other combination of harsh weather, knowing how to control your car is key to staying safe as you journey through the snow. In fact, winter driving conditions account for more than 40% of all auto accidents and more than 113,000 injuries each year.

In addition to being more cautious while driving in adverse weather, motorists should know the safety rules for dealing with winter road emergencies.  Since road conditions can also change quickly in winter, drivers need to be aware of situations and surroundings and be prepared to react more quickly than in other driving scenarios. Extreme temperatures may also impact vehicle function.
Below you will find some additional information on navigating your vehicle in winter weather.  If you do happen to experience an accident, please don’t hesitate to reach out to our office.

Winter Driving

  • Avoid driving while you’re fatigued. Getting the proper amount of rest before taking on winter weather tasks reduces driving risks.
  • Never warm up a vehicle in an enclosed area, such as a garage.
  • Make certain your tires are properly inflated.
  • Never mix radial tires with other tire types.
  • Keep your gas tank at least half full to avoid gas line freeze-up.
  • If possible, avoid using your parking brake in cold, rainy, and snowy weather.
  • Do not use cruise control when driving on any slippery surface (wet, ice, sand).

Tips for long-distance winter trips:

  • Watch weather reports before a long-distance drive or before driving in isolated areas—delay trips when terrible weather is expected. If you must leave, let others know your route, destination, and estimated time of arrival.
  • Keep blankets, gloves, hats, food, water, and any needed medication in your vehicle.
  • If you become snow-bound, stay with your vehicle. It provides temporary shelter and makes it easier for rescuers to locate you. Don’t try to walk in a severe storm. It’s easy to lose sight of your vehicle in blowing snow and become lost.
  • Don’t overexert yourself if you try to push or dig your vehicle out of the snow.
  • Tie a brightly colored cloth to the antenna or place a cloth at the top of a rolled-up window to signal distress. At night, keep the dome light on if possible. It only uses a small amount of electricity and will make it easier for rescuers to find you.
  • Make sure the exhaust pipe isn’t clogged with snow, ice, or mud. A blocked exhaust could cause deadly carbon monoxide gas to leak into the passenger compartment with the engine running.
  • Use whatever is available to insulate your body from the cold. This could include floor mats, newspapers, or paper maps.
  • If possible, run the engine and heater just long enough to remove the chill and conserve gasoline.

Tips for driving in the snow:

  • Accelerate and decelerate slowly. Applying the gas slowly to accelerate is the best method for regaining traction and avoiding skids. Don’t try to get moving in a hurry. And take time to slow down for a stoplight. Remember: It takes longer to slow down on icy roads.
  • Drive slowly. Everything takes longer on snow-covered roads. Accelerating, stopping, turning – nothing happens as quickly as on dry pavement.
    The normal dry pavement following three to four seconds should be increased to eight to ten seconds. This increased margin of safety will provide the longer distance needed if you have to stop.
  • Know your brakes. Whether you have antilock brakes or not, the best way to stop is threshold breaking. Keep the heel of your foot on the floor and use the ball of your foot to apply firm, steady pressure on the brake pedal.
  • Don’t stop if you can avoid it. There’s a big difference in the amount of inertia it takes to start moving from a full stop versus how much it takes to get moving while still rolling. If you can slow down enough to keep rolling until a traffic light changes, do it.
  • Don’t power up hills. Applying extra gas on snow-covered roads starts your wheels spinning. Try to get a little inertia going before you reach the hill and let that inertia carry you to the top. As you reach the crest of the hill, reduce your speed and proceed downhill as slowly as possible.
  • Don’t stop going up a hill. There’s nothing worse than trying to get moving up a hill on an icy road. Get some inertia going on a flat roadway before you take on the hill.
    Stay home. If you really don’t have to go out, don’t. Even if you can drive well in the snow, not everyone else can. Don’t tempt fate: If you don’t have somewhere you have to be, watch the snow from indoors.

Self-improvement, or at least the desire for it, is a shared American hobby. It’s why so many of us—some estimates say more than 40% of Americans—make New Year’s resolutions.

But for all the good intentions, only a tiny fraction of us keep our resolutions; University of Scranton research suggests that just 8% of people achieve their New Year’s goals.
Why do so many people fail at goal-setting, and what are the secrets behind those who succeed? Below we have provided some tips on ensuring that you keep your upcoming New Year’s resolutions.

Keep it Simple
Many people use the New Year as an opportunity to make large bucket lists or attempt extreme makeovers, whether personal or professional.

That’s a nice aspiration, but this type of approach is doomed to failure. Essentially, shooting for the moon can be so psychologically daunting, you end up failing to launch in the first place.

Make it Tangible
Setting ambitious resolutions can be fun and inspiring, but the difficulty in achieving them means that your elation can quickly give way to frustration. That’s why rational, achievable metrics should bound goals.

Be specific. Don’t say you’re “going to start going to the gym” — set a clear ambition, like attending a weekly spin class or lifting weights every Tuesday or Thursday.

Make it Obvious
Experts recommend charting your goals in some fashion, although there’s no universal strategy for success. For some, making a clear to-do list is enough of a reminder; others rely on “vision boards” or personal diaries.

An emerging tactic: share your goals with your friends and family. It’s another way to build accountability, especially in the Facebook era.

Sharing the resolutions is a good way to hold yourself to them. In our increasingly public lives, social media can be used as a motivator.

Keep Believing You Can Do It
To be clear: Simply setting a goal does raise your chances of achieving that goal significantly.

But within weeks or months, people begin abandoning their resolutions as they hit bumps in the road that throw them off their stride.

More often than not, people who fail to keep their resolutions blame their own lack of willpower. In surveys, these would-be resolvers repeatedly say that if only they had more self-determination, they would’ve overcome any hurdles and achieved their goals.

However, there is an emerging body of research that willpower is malleable. In one study led by a Stanford University psychologist, scientists gauged whether test subjects believed they could exhaust their willpower and sought to convince them otherwise. The researchers found that people “performed better or worse [on tests] depending on their belief in the durability of willpower.”

You have as much willpower as you think you have, essentially, which means that on some level, your journey toward self-improvement will be a self-fulfilling prophecy.

Slips and falls are some of the most expensive claims homeowners insurance companies have to deal with.  Avoiding these types of claims can also have a dramatic effect on decreasing your premiums. During icy and snowy conditions, the incidence of injuries due to slips and falls increases. Below are several suggestions which, if followed, can reduce the number of slips and falls or reduce injury if a fall occurs. Please read them carefully.

1) Concentrate on the path ahead — take your time and proceed slowly.
2) Where possible, avoid slippery surfaces — take a route around obvious slippery hazards, such as wet leaves, icy areas, and snowbanks.
3) Wear appropriate footwear — wear shoes or boots with rough (waffled, ridged, or heavily textured) soles to work and change into dress shoes if you must wear them. The inconvenience of changing shoes is insignificant compared to the inconvenience due to a serious fall-related injury.
4) Use handrails wherever they are provided — a secure handhold can prevent a fall if you should slip.
5) Check those entrance halls and stairs are clear of snow and slush — tracked in snow, and slush often causes slips and falls.
6) Beware of changes in walking surfaces — many falls are caused when someone doesn’t realize he/she is leaving a secure area for a slippery one.
7) Clean your shoes when you go inside — caked snow and ice on shoe soles can be treacherous.

1) Try to /roll with the fall/ if you begin to fall forward.
2) Sit down if you begin to fall backward — when a falling person relaxes, an injury is less severe than when he/she tenses. Fighting a fall on ice can cause twisting or bending injuries, which may worsen the bump the fall would have produced.