Indiana often gets the short end of the stick when it comes to weather patterns. While summers are usually temperate, the state’s northern location and its proximity to the Great Lakes can result in some unforgiving winter weather, so drivers who don’t want to make a car insurance claim are advised to stay clear of roadways as Indiana prepares for its second big snowstorm of this year.
Indiana’s Department of Homeland Security is alerting residents to the coming storm and urging them to be prepared for several inches of snow as well as sleet and persistent ice. Predictions of how much snow each area of Indiana will be getting vary wildly, with some predictions ranging from 1-2 inches of snow in southern Indiana to a full foot. The National Weather Service has released an official forecast for the storm and estimates 4 to 7 inches of snow in central Indiana and 1 to 2 inches further south.
Residents are warned to stay clear of roads when possible, but since many businesses won’t be closing due to the inclement weather, many will still have to drive. Don’t want to file an auto insurance claim? Follow these five tips to keep yourself safe on icy roads!
1.) Slow down
This is the first tip for a reason – it’s the most important piece of advice you can take. Driving at high speeds makes it harder to stop and easier to lose control, and lowering your speed is the most effective way to stay in control. SUVs, vehicles with four-wheel or all-wheel drive, and vehicles with traction control/winter tires are not excluded from this rule.
2.) Practice safe driving habits
This may sound like a given, but when the roads are icy, it’s more important than ever to practice safe driving habits. Buckle up, use your turn signals, maintain situational awareness, and don’t tailgate. A very high number of ice-related automotive deaths could’ve been prevented by wearing a seatbelt.
3.) Be careful with your breaks
You may instinctively slam the breaks when you begin to lose control, but it won’t help your situation. Gradually apply the brake to maintain control. If you apply your breaks too suddenly, you’ll lose control of your vehicle completely.
4.) If you begin to slide, don’t turn away
Fishtailing or sliding is one of the worst things that can happen on an icy road, and while your vehicle may feel completely out of control, you are still in control. The secret is to steer into the slide and regain traction on the ground. High speeds are a huge contributing factor in cases like these, so remember the most important step: slowing down.
5.) Don’t stop on the side of the road
You may feel compelled to stop and help someone who is stuck by the side of the road, but doing so can endanger your life and the lives of everyone that passes. If a driver sees a parked vehicle, they’re likely to break suddenly, throwing their car out of control and quite possibly hitting you or other drivers. If you see someone who needs help, alert emergency services to their situation when you are in a safe place to stop.
How are you preparing for the coming snowstorm? How do you like to stay safe and warm during inclement weather? Let us know in the comments section below!