Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Winter Driving Tips That Can Lower Your Insurance Costs

Let's face it; you can buy the car that is touted as the safest on the road, your insurance rates can still be among the highest. Insurance companies use several factors when computing your rates, such as vehicle type, your age, and where you live. But the one thing that holds the most weight is the fact that any car is only as safe as the driver behind the wheel.
You need to be aware of the points or demerits that are placed on your license for things like moving violations, hazardous driving, or causing an accident. The best way to get lower insurance costs is through safe driving practices over a period of time. Through careful driving your driver's license will eventually reflect zero points against you. This is when your insurance costs can go down.
With winter lasting as long as nine months in many parts of Canada, the most accidents are likely to occur during his time of the year. If you are determined to lower your insurance costs, follow these tips on winter driving. It will take a long-term commitment, but with determination, it can be done.
• Before winter hits, be sure to get a thorough car inspection. Take particular care to check the following: belts, fluid levels, brakes, exhaust system, wiper blades and windshield washer fluid, snow tire treads and pressure, defroster. Lights and antifreeze.
• Make sure to clear snow and ice from your windows and lights. If there is an accumulation on the hood, you may want to clear that too.
• Don't use cruise control during wintery conditions due to unexpected icy spots. Even with slight braking you can lose control.
• Leave at least five car lengths between you and the car in front of you for stopping.
• Brake with caution. Give yourself time to slow down. It is a good practice to put your vehicle in a lower gear before hitting the breaks. This will automatically slow down your car so that you can then break safely.
• Drive with your lights on low or your fog lights on. On cloudy, snowy days you want to not only increase your visibility, but it is important other drivers can see you.
• Be careful crossing bridges. Being made of steel, they freeze up faster than the roads do.
• Use caution on exit ramps, as they may not have received gravel or de-icing agents.
• Remember that your 4 x 4 vehicle doesn't stop any faster than a regular vehicle. They are heavier and may actually take longer to stop. This also goes for trucks.
• Stay at least 200 feet behind snowplows and never pass them on the right due to blind spots. Remember, the road condition ahead of them is worse than behind them, even if they are going slow. It is better to be safe than sorry.
With just a little extra caution over time, you'll be able to lower your insurance costs.

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