Monday, December 10, 2018

This post is sponsored by Allstate. All opinions are my own.

Did you know the second installment of Allstate’s 2018 America's Best Drivers Report ranks the country's largest 200 cities to determine which have the safest drivers when rain and snow are added to the equation? The numbers don’t look good for Pennsylvania, which is why I need to be more than prepared for winter driving. It's that time of year again--the first snowstorm has already come through Eastern Pennsylvania, and it was a bad one! It took me four and a half hours to get home from work, and it normally only takes twenty minutes!! Driving in PA has definitely taught me a lot about driving in snowy, icy, and torrential downpour weather conditions. During the fall & winter months, I feel like if it's not sleeting, it's snowing. As I'm preparing myself to drive through more & more snow as the winter creeps closer, I wanted to chat about a few ways that I've prepped myself to travel safely this winter & holiday season.

This holiday especially, I'll be doing a lot more driving than I ever have before! For Christmas, my husband and I will be going to my parent's house, which is about three hours away in Maryland. We'll be spending Christmas day with my family, and then we will be continuing our Christmas traveling adventures another eight hours south to South Carolina to visit with some of my husband's family. Since we're going to be doing so much driving, I knew I had to be extra prepared this season.

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Stay Alert & Focused //

First things first, you've gotta stay focused on the road and all of your surroundings. I know it sounds like common sense, but there are so many things that can distract us. Everything from our phones to the music playing through our speakers can all add onto the stress of driving through the wintery weather. You never know when a road might be flooded up ahead or a patch of ice creeps up on your tires. Driving in the wintertime is always full of surprises, and you want to be prepared!

Have an Emergency Kit //

An emergency kit is oh so important. I have an emergency kit in my car that consists of jumper cables, a flashlight, tire pressure gauge, and first aid kit. I also always make sure I have a bottle or two of water and a few non-perishable snacks with me. You never know when your drive home or your trip will take so much longer than it should. It seems like a no-brainer, but make sure you grab your ice scraper. You'll want to be sure to invest in a good one so that it can easily help sweep away the snow and scrape off thick ice from your windshield. It's such a game changer and stress reliever when you're able to clean your windshield quickly.

This might seem like overkill to some, but if you travel a lot, especially in the snow, a small travel shovel and a little bit of salt will come in handy if you get stuck. When I was driving home in the snowstorm a couple of weeks ago, so many people were getting stuck and they totally needed a shovel to bail them out.

Download Drivewise® //

If you've never heard of Drivewise®* before, you've gotta download it immediately! It's honestly the most innovative app ever & it was created by my friends at Allstate. Simply download the Allstate® Mobile appand enroll in Drivewise®. You can choose to connect to a current Allstate plan or activate a Drivewise® account without an Allstate plan. It's absolutely free to use, and I love it because it's personalized just for you!

Once activated on your phone & allowed access to your location, Drivewise® will automatically track your recent trips & driving habits, such as safe speeds, avoiding sudden braking, and time of day, which you will be able to review. It will even show you your latest parking location--this will so come in handy when you've been forced to park in a random spot at the mall while shopping for Christmas presents!

The fun thing about Drivewise® is while you're driving, you'll be automatically completing safe driving challenges like three days in a row with no hard breaking. With every challenge you complete, and with every point you earn, you can then redeem your points for savings on named brands, gift cards, local offers, travel, and more! Driving safe really does pay off.

If you already have an existing Allstate auto policy, just by signing up and remaining active within the Drivewise® app, you can get up to 21% in savings for your safe driving.

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Do a Systems Check //

Before every big trip, I always make sure to check my oil and, even better, get an oil change. You'll also want to make sure that you're checking the level on your windshield wiper fluid. During the winter months, you can also upgrade your windshield washer fluid to a winter weather fluid that helps to break down the frost on your windshield and doesn't freeze as fast. You'll want to be sure to check that all of your headlights, brake lights, and turn signals are functioning properly, because when you're driving through winter weather, those lights are extremely crucial.

One of the other most important things you should be doing before every big trip, and more frequently in general during the winter months, is checking your tire pressure. The lower temperatures in the winter months will cause your tires to lose air pressure, and you don't want to be stuck in the middle of the road with a flat during a snowstorm. By performing a system check, you will have peace of mind that you will drive safely all winter long.

Take it easy & don't panic //

Always, always give yourself extra time to get where you're going. The wintertime is definitely not the time to rush on the road. Patches of black ice can be pretty much anywhere and cause you to slip out of nowhere. If this does happen, make sure to stay calm and don't slam on the breaks. Slowly turn in the direction you want to go, and release the accelerator until normal traction returns. I know that slipping and sliding on the road can be extremely stressful and terrifying, but the more you try to stay calm, the better it will be, because you'll be able to make better decisions. Keeping a safe distance from other cars will also allow you to have a longer time to stop if need be and avoid an accident.

I hope that these tips help as you're traveling this holiday season & all through the winter months! Stay warm & stay safe, friends.

*Drivewise is optional. Subject to terms, conditions and availability. Smartphone required. Savings based on driving behavior and may vary by state. Allstate Fire and Casualty Insurance Company and affiliates.
2775 Sanders Rd, Northbrook, IL 60062. (C) 2018 Allstate Insurance Company

This post was written as part of the Allstate Influencer Program and sponsored by Allstate. As always, thoughts and opinions are my own. As the nation's largest publicly held personal lines insurer, Allstate is dedicated not only to protecting what matters most, but to guiding people to live the Good Life, every day. Thank you for supporting ACF!

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