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10 Tips to Stay Safe While Navigating Winter Driving

Grand Rapids, Mich., Nov. 20, 2014 – Winter has arrived a bit earlier this year in Michigan, meaning that drivers need to be prepared earlier than ever. The resulting frigid temperatures and dangerous driving conditions have caught many people off guard, causing numerous crashes. Meteorologists are predicting another blustery, snowy and heavy winter season, and are cautioning drivers to be extremely cautious in the coming months.
 
"Winter driving in Michigan can be extremely challenging under normal conditions," said Pamela Harlin, spokesperson for the Meemic Insurance Company. "When you add in any form of extreme weather conditions, like an excess in snow fall, the result can be dangerous driving conditions that require even the most skilled drivers to use the utmost caution."
 
Meemic Insurance offers these 10 Safety Tips for Winter Driving to help Michigan drivers arrive safely and avoid costly accidents.  
  1. Start Clean – Be sure to completely clear snow and ice from all windows, lights, hood and roof for maximum visibility and to avoid having ice and snow fly off your vehicle.  Law enforcement officials are on the lookout for "peephole drivers."
  2. Light it Up – Before starting out, turn on your lights to increase your visibility to other motorists.
  3. Slow it Down – Remember, posted speed limits are for dry pavement.  Decrease speed on icy, snow-covered roads and allow extra distance between you and other vehicles.
  4. Look Ahead – Watch the traffic well ahead for extra reaction time.   Always drive defensively and give yourself a cushion of time to deal with wintery conditions.
  5. Stay Away – Stay well back of maintenance vehicles and snowplows – at least 200 feet (it’s the law) – and don’t pass on the right.  Use extreme caution when passing in a passing lane.
  6. Pick a Lane – Avoid abrupt lane changes.  There may be a snow ridge between lanes.  Also, the passing lane may be in worse shape than the driving lane.
  7. Take a Brake – Brake early and gently to avoid skidding.  It takes more time and distance to stop in adverse conditions.  If your wheels start to lock up, ease off the brake.  Do not pump anti-lock brakes.
  8. Watch for Signs – Watch for signs alerting you to slippery bridge decks and other areas prone to becoming slick, even when the rest of the pavement is in good condition.
  9. Stay in Control – Don’t use cruise control or overdrive in wintery conditions.  Even a slight depression of your brakes to deactivate can cause loss of control on hidden slippery patches.
  10. Avoid Assumptions – Do not assume your vehicle can handle all conditions.  Even four-wheel and front-wheel drive vehicles encounter trouble on winter roads.  The false sense of security these vehicles offer can leave you less prepared to deal with emergency situations.
 
About Meemic Insurance Company
Meemic Insurance Company (www.meemic.com) provides personal lines insurance products to teachers and other educational employees in Michigan and Wisconsin. For more than 63 years, Meemic remains a Michigan-based company, proud partner of the educational community, committed to offering the finest possible protection, products and services at preferred rates. Trust Meemic for claims excellence, policy payment options to meet your needs and products tailored exclusively to the educational community we serve. Meemic is a financially strong company (A. M. Best rating effective December 2013). Our stability and reputation for integrity builds the confidence of our policyholders and remains the foundation for our continued mission to serve the educational community.
 
MEDIA CONTACT: Jeremy Bakken, jbakken@lambert-edwards.com
Lambert, Edwards & Associates, 616-233-0500
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