Updated April 3, 2016 . AmFam Team
Protect yourself and the ones you love when you’re behind the wheel — no matter the season.
Protecting your car goes beyond just having the right car insurance. It’s something you can do each time you get behind the wheel, no matter what time of the year it is. Revisiting the fundamentals is always a great way to remind yourself of driving safety basics, reduce wear and tear on your vehicle and keep your wheels on the road.
Keeping you and your car safe from hazards is a year-round necessity, so here are a few ways to help you stay safe on the road and keep your vehicle in tip-top shape.
Don’t overlook the overpasses. Overpasses and bridges change temperature faster than surface roads, which can lead to unexpected freezing and thawing. This can create unpredictable road conditions, so keep an eye on the pavement and heed any warnings about icy roads you see on the news or traffic instruction signs.
Rough roads can cause damage. Unmaintained and underdeveloped roads are more dangerous to drive on and can damage your car, too. Watch out for potholes and, if possible, find alternative routes on smoother roads to minimize wear and tear on your vehicle.
Give your car a check-up. As your vehicle ages, time and weather take their toll. Check your vehicle regularly for damaged or worn parts, including windshield wipers and headlights.
Turn around when you see water. While water over a road might not seem that deep, it could be carrying undercurrents that could sweep your car away. It may also be deeper than it looks, so instead of fording the flood waters, find an alternative route.
Protect your car from critters. The colder months can drive wildlife and other animals to nest in your car. Bang on or make loud noises next to your car before you turn it on to scare off any cats, raccoons or other larger animals that may have taken refuge in the warmth of your undercarriage. You should also check under the hood for mice nesting in your engine block if you haven’t used your car in a while.
Check your tire pressure. Cold air can cause your tires to deflate a bit, so keep an eye on your tire pressure and refill your tires if they’re going flat. Overfull or deflated tires are at higher risk for damage or blowout, so be sure you know what pressure your tires are rated for and monitor that range.
Keep an emergency kit for all-weather scenarios. Pack a bag with a few essentials, like a first aid kit, road flares, flashlight and water bottles, to keep in the car for emergencies. You may never need it, but if you break down somewhere, you’ll be glad you have it.
Protecting yourself on the road isn’t just about keeping an eye out for hazards — it’s about having the right coverage in place to help you get back on the road if the unexpected happens. Connect with your American Family Insurance agen (Opens in a new tab)t to make sure you’ve got the right car insurance coverage — from uninsured motorist to bodily injury liability coverage — so you can help protect what matters most to you.