Being a Montana gal I've learned some smart things to do to prepare yourself, and your car, for winter driving. In addition to some of the things you should pack in your car in the event of a winter travel emergency, you might give some thought to checking your insurance policy for the following reasons:
Some folks will add Comprehensive and Collision coverage to their auto insurance policy during the difficult winter driving months. In the event you have an accident that damages your car, and possibly you slid in to something or tangled with an uninsured motorist, having Comprehensive and Collision coverage – also known as Physical Damage Insurance – will allow you to get your car fixed. You will, of course, have to pay your deductible but you'll be back in the road after repairs are made. That certainly beats a bus ticket!
Check your policy or call your agent to see if this coverage is on your policy, or is available to you. Often times it can be added at very reasonable cost so it's certainly worth asking about.
Take a look at these Cold Weather Driving Safety Tips, and also of list of things the Montana Department of Transportation suggests you carry in your vehicle for winter driving. Take care, and be safe!
Check your tires for adequate tread life and that they are properly inflated.
Make sure your spare is ready to use.
Carry an ice scraper and snow brush - make time to properly clear your windows.
Check for proper antifreeze level.
What condition are your windshield wiper blades in? Do they need to be replaced?
You may choose to carry a small snow shovel and a bag of cat litter in your trunk to use for traction if you get stuck.
If you are traveling be sure to take "comfort items" in the event you are stranded in your car - blanket, hat, gloves, and snacks for example.
The Montana Department of Transportation offers a vast amount of information regarding safe winter driving. Visit their website at mdt.mt.gov to download their Montana Disaster & Emergency Survival Guide. Here are some of the items they suggest that you pack in your emergency travel kit for winter driving.
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Darnielle Insurance is available to answer your questions. We are located at 1320 28th Street West, Billings, MT 59102. Give us a call at 406-652-4180.