teen winter driving - Spencer Insurance Agency, Inc

Winter is coming. Are you prepared?

car-snowed-in

Winter is right around the corner.  Are you ready?  Not sure what you need to do?  Well, I am here to help you.  Spencer Insurance Agency has a “Winter Tips” section on our website.  I rather see you out sledding or skiing than repairing your car or home.

Is your car ready for winter?

And don’t forget to prepare your home for winter. Do you remember the “Ice Storm” a couple years ago?  Read over our “Winter Storm Power Outage Tips.”

Do you find yourself inside more during the winter?  This is a great time to get your finances in order.  Check out our “Tips on financial planning this winter.”

We have some additional useful links in our “Winter Section” so check them out today.

Give us a call today at 215-885-2200 for an insurance review or answers to your questions.

We hope you have an enjoyable winter and wish everyone a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.   Make sure you share your holiday pictures with us.  Post them on our Facebook page or send them to us for our newsletter.  We love seeing magical moments with your families.

 

Winter Driving Tips

Wow! Remember the snow storms of last winter?  I think we had enough snow for a couple of years but here we go again, winter will be here soon.  This is the time to start thinking of ways to take the opportunity to teach your teen drivers how to drive safely in bad road conditions.  These tips are meant for everyone especially the parents of teen drivers.  Teen driver education is very important and does not stop once your child is licensed.  You need to continue to monitor their progress and continue to teach them safe driving skills.

 Parents should not avoid taking their children out during bad weather to teach them how to handle these conditions.  It is probably one of the most difficult lessons to administer.  The reason is that parents feel very uncomfortable putting their children behind the wheel in these conditions.  This is only natural as your instinct wants to protect your children.

 However, eventually they will be driving in these conditions whether it is heavy rain, wet leaves, snow or ice.  It is better to prepare them for these conditions with a few lessons.

 The tough part of this training is that it has to be done on a moments notice.  Depending on when your teen receives their permit or license you may not see snow or ice for a year or more.  So as soon as the opportunity presents itself jump on it.  It will be a valuable lesson for your teen.

 When starting this lesson go back and remember the first lesson you gave your teen.  It was probably in some remote area like a empty parking lot.  That is a great place to start this training.  Even though your teen may have been driving for a while they have not experience the effects of ice and snow on the car.

 Take them out into that empty parking lot where you have some room to maneuver.  Have them brake on the snow and ice.  Show them it takes more time to stop when sliding on ice and snow.  Explain to them the importance of putting more distance between their car and the car in front of them when it rains, snows or is icy on the roads. Keep practicing braking, turning and steering through the snow and ice.  Discuss what black ice is.

 Take time to go over safety checks with your teen.  Show them how to properly clear their car of snow and ice.  Make sure they remove all the snow from their car and not just the snow on the windshield.  Remember Pennsylvania passed a law making it clear that you need to remove the snow from your entire vehicle. “Snow or ice can cause injury or death to another person,” state officials said.  If you do not follow the law by removing snow from the tops of your car the fines could range from $200 to $1,000.  How many times have you been behind a car or truck and snow blew off the top of their truck or car and landed right on your windshield blinding you temporarily

 Show your teen how to get leaves and snow out of the area surrounding your windshield wipers.  Have them make sure the wipers are free of snow and ice and that the windshield washer fluid tubes are not blocked by ice and snow.  Make sure the windshield washer fluid is full and that you have a backup container in the trunk of the car. 

 Another tip is to put together a winter safety kit for each of your cars.  Use a small plastic container and fill it with the following items: blanket, spare gloves and hat, small shovel, emergency flasher and flashlight, sand or cat liter, and windshield washer fluid.  Make sure you car also has an ice scraper and a brush to remove snow from the top of your car.

 Remember your teen’s inexperience and poor decisions are only compounded when they drive in bad weather conditions.  Take the time to practice how to drive in these conditions.  It is valuable time spent making your teen a safer driver.

 For more tips on teen driving safety visit: www.teendriverinsurance.com/spencer.

Tips to reduce snow claims

Wow!  Did I hear 47 inches of snow in one week here in Philly? 

There are several things you should do to prevent claims on your auto and home insurance.

Your auto insurance:

  • Since many back streets are still snow covered and that snow is packed and like ice, you need to allow a lot more time to stop.  Also, be aware of your surroundings and think about your options should you start to slide.  This happened to me a few years back when I was driving into a busy intersection and slid down the hill.  I was headed right for the busy cross street but was able to turn my car into the curb to stop my car.  That could have been a disaster.
  • Also remember that the snow becomes very hard after a couple days.  The melting during the day followed by the freezing at night makes the piles of snow the equivalent of a stone wall.  Remember this when you are parking or backing out of your driveway.  The snow which earlier was soft now is rock hard and can cause severe damage to the body of your car.  Also watch the undercarriage of your car.  The snow that has been accumulating and not plowed is also becoming hard and could do serious damage to the undercarriage of your car.
  • Clear all the snow off your vehicle.  I saw a van yesterday that had about a foot of snow on the top of the van.  This snow becomes hard and when it blows off your car and hits the car behind you could cause a serious injury to that driver. (Not to mention that PA passed a law last year which fines a driver if snow from their car damages another car.)
  • With this much snow the plows have pushed the snow to the side of the roads.  Many times this makes the inside lane more narrow.  Be aware of this as you drive.

Your Homeowner’s Insurance:

  • Remove the snow from your decks and the roof of your garage and shed.  Snow becomes very heavy and could cause a deck, garage or shed to collapse. Remove the snow if you can do it safely.
  • Look at the trees in your yard to make sure the trees are not bent over and scraping your home due to the heavy load of snow on them.
  • Clear your walks and make sure you put some salt down. The snow melts during the day and the water can freeze at night.
  • Make sure all your outside drains and sewers are not blocked by snow.  If the snow melts this could cause a flood. 
  • If you have a fire hydrant near your home make sure that you shovel out the hydrant so the fire company can respond faster to a fire.

With more snow in the forecast it is time to be proactive to prevent losses. 

If you have Teen Drivers, this is a great time to take them out in the snow so they can practice.  Start in a deserted parking lot first so the teen driver can get comfortable in the snow.

It is time to shoot the ground hog!  I don’t think I can handle six more weeks of a winter like this.

For more tips check out our website: www.spencerinsurance.com

For Teen Driver tips check out our website at: www.teendriverinsurance.com/spencer

Teach your teen to drive in ice and snow!

car burried in snowThe Fall Colors have been beautiful the last few weeks.  Then all of the sudden I have a carpet of leaves on my front lawn, sidewalk and porch. The leaves always seem to fall the week after our township scheduled our leaf pick up, but they will be back again in a couple weeks and our township does a great job picking up the leaves.

 

Driving down the street last weekend with the wet leaves covering the road reminded me that the leaves soon will be replaced with ice and snow.  This is the time to start thinking of ways to take the opportunity to teach your teen drivers how to drive safely in bad road conditions.

 

Parents should not avoid taking their children out during bad weather to teach them how to handle these conditions.  It is probably one of the most difficult lessons to administer.  The reason is that parents feel very uncomfortable putting their children behind the wheel in these conditions.  This is only natural as your instinct wants to protect your children.

 

However, eventually they will be driving in these conditions whether it is heavy rain, wet leaves, snow or ice.  It is better to prepare them for these conditions with a few lessons.

 

The tough part of this training is that it has to be done on a moments notice.  Depending on when your teen receives their permit you may not see snow or ice for a year or more.  So as soon as the opportunity presents itself jump on it.  It will be a valuable lesson for your teen.

 

When starting this lesson go back and remember the first lesson you gave your teen.  It was probably in some remote area like a empty parking lot.  That is a great place to start this training.  Even though your teen may have been driving for a while they have not experience the effects of ice and snow on the car.

 

Take them out into that empty parking lot where you have some room to maneuver.  Have them brake on the snow and ice.  Show them it takes more time to stop when sliding on ice and snow.  Explain to them the importance of putting more distance between their car and the car in front of them when it rains, snows or is icy on the roads. Keep practicing braking, turning and steering through the snow and ice.  Discuss what black ice is.

 

Take time to go over safety checks with your teen.  Show them how to properly clear their car of snow and ice.  Make sure they remove all the snow from their car and not just the snow on the windshield.  Remember last winter Pennsylvania passed a law making it clear that you need to remove the snow from your entire vehicle. “Snow or ice can cause injury or death to another person,” state officials said.  If you do not follow the law by removing snow from the tops of your car the fines could range from $200 to $1,000.  How many times have you been behind a car or truck and snow blew off the top of their truck or car and landed right on your windshield blinding you temporarily

 

Show your teen how to get leaves and snow out of the area surrounding your windshield wipers.  Have them make sure the wipers are free of snow and ice and that the windshield washer fluid tubes are not blocked by ice and snow.  Make sure the windshield washer fluid is full and that you have a backup container in the trunk of the car.  .

 

Another tip is to put together a winter safety kit for each of your cars.  Use a small plastic container and fill it with the following items: blanket, spare gloves and hat, small shovel, emergency flasher and flashlight, sand or cat liter, and windshield washer fluid.  Make sure you car also has an ice scraper and a brush to remove snow from the top of your car.

 

Remember your teen’s inexperience and poor decisions are only compounded when they drive in bad weather conditions.  Take the time to practice how to drive in these conditions.  It is valuable time spent making your teen a safer driver.

 

For more tips on teen driving safety visit: www.teendriverinsurance.com/spencer.

 

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