Drive with confidence this winter

(NC) Confidence in your skills and vehicle is important when it comes to winter driving. However, even the most experienced drivers can be thrown off by icy, snowy roads. Stay safe while driving with these tips:

Be prepared. Before it starts to snow, make sure you have your winter tires on. Keep an extra bottle of de-icing windshield washer fluid and a winter survival kit that includes extra clothing and boots, a first aid kit, small shovel, scraper, snow brush and flashlight in your trunk. When heading out on long drives, check the forecast and make sure you have at least half a tank of fuel so you don’t get stranded in a snowstorm.

Stay focused. A recent Belairdirect survey found that although 95 percent of Canadians think they are good drivers, yet a surprising 93 percent have admitted to engaging in at least one distracting habit behind the wheel. Never underestimate the hazards of the road. Always look further down the road ahead of your car and slow down if snow, rain or bright lights block your vision. Distracted driving is always dangerous, but even more so in icy and slippery conditions.

Go slow. Keep to the speed limit and give yourself plenty of time to switch lanes when heading for an exit on the highway. Accelerate and brake slowly, and don’t make any abrupt moves that will confuse other drivers or cause you to skid.

Know how to stop. If you do start to skid, know how to safely stop your car, which starts with knowing what kind of brakes you have. If you have anti-lock brakes (ABS), hold the pedal down as far as possible until you are fully stopped — do not pump the brakes. If you don’t have anti-lock brakes, gradually apply pressure to the pedal, without slamming on it, and release. Repeat to reduce your speed. Once in a skid, it’s important to take your foot off the gas, look and steer smoothly in the direction you want to go, and turn on your four-way flashers.

Get the right insurance coverage. Accidents can happen to even the most conscientious drivers. For peace of mind, make sure you have the best insurance coverage. Companies like Belairdirect can help you determine exactly what you need and provide a quote in minutes.

Find more information online at belairdirect.com.

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