Driving in severe weather calls for patience
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: February 12, 2021
CONTACT: Camille Garcia, Director of Communications and Public Affairs 512-713-4262
Texans have already witnessed the dangers and risks of icy roadways as winter weather caused freezing temperatures and winter precipitation across the state. Tragically, we’ve had accidents resulting in loss of life, injuries and significant damage to vehicles, and unfortunately, the severe weather will continue over the next few days. We are saddened by the loss of life and we keep in thought those involved -- victims, their families, first responders and all who rendered aid.
Bitter cold weather, ice, rain and snow will play havoc on roadways; patience and small changes in driving habits can help keep you and others stay safe on the road.
Since we expect to see bitter cold weather conditions through next week, here are some DRIVING TIPS.
• Remember to listen to local authorities and first responders whose mission is to keep us safe while working in sometimes adverse conditions.
• Patience is a virtue and that’s especially important during severe weather. Leave earlier and drive slower since tires lose some traction during rainy and icy conditions.
• Slow down as you approach bridges and overpasses as they often freeze first.
• Brake cautiously since sudden braking can cause steering issues. For vehicles with anti-lock brakes, apply constant, firm pressure to the pedal.
• Visibility in foggy and rainy conditions are increased at night or on roads that are not well lit. Headlights, wipers and defrosters can help make your drive safer.
• Turning off the cruise control under foggy, rainy or icy conditions is recommended since the driver is better equipped to control and react to road conditions.
Bottom line, consider staying off the road during severe weather. Reduce the risk of accident by simply waiting to get on the road when the weather conditions improve.
Your auto insurance policy may include coverage for accidents stemming from weather related claims. Talk to your agent or insurance company to discuss your coverages.
• Damages from accidents that involve two or more drivers, caused by slippery roads are generally covered under the liability portion of the at-fault driver’s auto insurance policy or the optional collision coverage portion of your auto insurance policy
• Damages from accidents that occur when a driver crashes into another object, like a guard rail or center divider are covered under the optional collision portion of an insurance policy
• Damage to a vehicle caused by flooding, fallen ice or fallen tree limbs are covered under the optional comprehensive portion of an auto insurance policy
According to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, over 70% of U.S. vehicle owners opt to carry both collision and/or comprehensive coverage. The Texas Department of Insurance also notes that Texas insurers paid over $14 billion for private passenger auto losses in 2019; the insurance industry stands ready to help.
“Texans face a myriad of weather events. According to NOAA, in 2019, Texas had 1,985 severe weather reports placing us in the #1 spot in the nation. Reviewing your coverages today – whether auto, home, or renters will help protect you and your family’s financial recovery tomorrow,” says Camille Garcia, ICT Director of Communications and Public Affairs.
STEPS TO TAKE AFTER AN ACCIDENT
• As safety permits take photos of the accident scene, including vehicles involved, as well as the surrounding area to help recreate the accident scene.
• Obtain information from the party or parties involved in the accident including driver’s license and insurance information.
• Obtain contact information from any witnesses to the accident.
• If there are injuries, contact the local authorities. Some police departments will not respond to accidents with no injuries due to the volume of such incidents.
• Contact your agent or insurance company to begin the claims process providing them with information you obtained.
• Document your conversation with your claims representative to capture next steps.
• The policy holder has options on where to repair the vehicle. Talk to your agent about the benefits of using your own or the insurance company’s preferred vendor.
For more information, contact Camille Garcia, Director of Communications and Public Affairs at Insurance Council of Texas, 512-713-4262 or firstname.lastname@example.org.