As temperatures drop, we look forward to a new holiday travel season with out-of-town friends and family. If you’re hitting the road this year, we want you stay safe with a few tips from us:
1. Check your tires for the appropriate amount of tread and air pressure before you start your journey.
Most states require 2/32” of tread before they classify tires as officially worn out. Take a quarter and insert it into your tire at various grooves. You’re good to go if the tread covers some of Washington’s head. Not all cars require the same amount of air pressure, so check your car’s owner’s manual for the right DPI.
2. Purchase tire chains and learn how to use them ahead of time.
For snowy conditions like we see in Southern Oregon, Colorado and Wyoming, prep your car for rough road conditions. Driving in the snow takes practice, so before you leave, practice putting your tire chains on a few times. If you can get them on in a few minutes under excellent conditions, chances are you won’t struggle if you have to put them on with 5 inches of snow on the ground.
3. Drive slow.
The best winter driving tip we can offer is to simply drive slow—accelerate slowly and decelerate slowly. Ice and snow make it difficult to gain traction, so the safest route is to not make any speedy movements to avoid hydroplaning. Keep in mind it takes longer to slow down in the snow, so start breaking earlier than you usually would for red lights and stop signs.
4. Review your home for leaky pipes and drafty windows.
Especially in colder states like Washington and Idaho, leaky pipes aren’t just a nuisance—they’re a hazard. Mold and mildew can grow due to the moist environment and create serious health concerns. As weather turns colder, it is also a good idea to disconnect and cover outdoor faucets.
5. Extended out-of-town stays.
If you’re heading on vacation—say, California for instance—to spend the holidays, protect your home from freezing conditions and save on energy by keeping your thermostat at 55 degrees or above.
6. Unplug all appliances.
Electrical fires are dangerous enough to handle if you’re home to put the fire out and begin the claim process with your Grange Insurance Association agent—they’re even worse if you are hundreds of miles away. Save yourself the potential hazard and unplug all of the non-essential appliances.
At Grange Insurance Association, we’re committed to protecting what matters most—you. Contact us for information about how we can keep you safe this holiday season and seasons to come.
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