Wet and winter weather are coming, so it's time to be ready.

Mercury Insurance offers winter safety guide to navigate rain and snow

Winter road trips can be an exciting adventure, yet they are not without risks. Drivers must remain vigilant and prepared for any potential hazards such as rain, snow, ice, wind or the combination of all four.

“Driving during winter months comes with significant responsibility and caution,” said Kevin Quinn, Vice President of Auto Claims at Mercury Insurance. “Encountering diverse weather throughout your road trip will impact the driving experience. Challenging conditions can test even the most seasoned drivers, making safety essential.”

Quinn offers the following suggestions for those finding themselves driving through heavy rain

  • Slow down and increase following distance: exercise caution, reduce speed, and maintain a three-second driving gap for safety.
  • Use proper lighting: Ensure visibility by turning on headlights and tail lights without using high beams, which can illuminate the rain and make the road harder to see.
  • Handle your vehicle with care: Avoid abrupt movements, grip the steering wheel with both hands, and stay in the middle lanes to minimize hydroplaning risks.
  • Defog your windows: Maximize visibility by defogging windows before – and while – driving.

Driving through snow introduces additional challenges, especially for first-time drivers or those who don’t live in snowy climates.

While it’s advisable to hit the road only when absolutely necessary, it is possible to drive safely in winter weather with the right preparation and a heightened sense of caution. Here’s how: 

  • Winterize your car: Address tire traction and consider purchasing winter tires before you travel. • Keep an emergency kitwith essential supplies in your vehicle where it is easily accessible.
  • Remove snow and ice: Ensure clear visibility by removing all snow and ice from your vehicle before hitting the road.
  • Driving in snow: Drive slower than normal, use AWD or 4WD if available, and leave extra distance between cars.
  • Check rearview mirror: Always check your mirrors when changing speeds to prevent rear-end collisions.
  • Respect snowplows: Maintain a safe distance from snowplows to avoid impaired visibility.
    • Be on the lookout for black ice: Exercise caution, especially at night, as thawed snow may refreeze and create black ice.
    • Don’t use cruise control: Avoid using cruise control in wintry conditions for quicker reaction time.

Before embarking on any road trip, make sure your auto insurance is up to date and that you’ve winterized your car. With proper preparation, cautious driving, and reliable coverage, drivers can confidently navigate winter weather.

For additional driving safety tips, visit:

https://www.mercuryinsurance.com/resources/auto/how-to-winter-ize-your-vehicle.html

https://www.mercuryinsurance.com/resources/drive-safe/distracted-driving-statistics-survey-results.html

https://www.nhtsa.gov/winter-driving-tips

https://www.nsc.org/community-safety/safety-topics/seasonal-safety/winter-safety/driving

About Mercury Insurance
Mercury Insurance is a multiple-line insurance carrier predominantly offering personal auto, homeowners and renters insurance through a network of independent agents in California, Arizona, Georgia, Illinois, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, Oklahoma, Texas and Virginia, as well as auto insurance in Florida. Mercury writes other lines of insurance in various states, including commercial, business owners and business auto, landlord, home-sharing, ride-hailing and mechanical protection insurance.

Since 1962, Mercury has provided customers with tremendous value for their insurance dollar by pairing ultracompetitive rates with excellent customer service. Mercury has earned “A” ratings from A.M. Best and Fitch, as well as “Best Auto Insurance Company” designations from Forbes and Insure.com. For more information visit www.MercuryInsurance.com or follow the company on Twitter or Facebook.