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Winter Warnings for the Holidays

It is time for Santa in the tristate. This, of course, means it is also time for snow, holiday parties and reindeer. There are several things all drivers should consider when they go out on the roadways during the winter.

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First, you may notice an increase in the amount of semi-tractor trailers on the interstates and the secondary roads. Every item purchased during the holidays is transported at some point on a big rig. Wrapping paper, remote controlled cars, curling irons, lipstick and green beans are all loaded and shipped at some point on a semi-truck. While trucks are part of the lifeblood of our economy, they are in effect a 60,000 pound bowling ball on the highway. Truck drivers work hard to deliver items in a safe and expedient manner. However, increased demands during the winter means increased hours and increased stress. Keeping an extra eye out for the tract

or-trailers around you will aid in keeping you and your family safe during this fun time of the year.

Second, snow = slow. With the increased popularity in front wheel drive and four-wheel drive vehicles, it can be easy to forget just how treacherous the roadways become when they are covered in snow and ice. Common sense often gets left behind when we are rushing to get to the store to pick up the fruit tray for the family luncheon after the shopping trip with our sisters before the big office Christmas party tonight, and oh yes, get gas. While our mind is screaming rush, rush, rush, S-L-O-W is the only way to go. Once your automobile gets out of control on an iced over road, there is little or no chance of regaining command of the car.

Next, will you be dining, drinking, dancing, and driving? Yes! Holiday parties, family gatherings and, of course, New Year’s Eve are annual traditions for many across the country. Another annual tradition that is popular during this time is drinking and driving. Someone who would not normally drive while under the influence of alcohol, may not realize how bourbon actually was in the eggnog. This can cause an uncomfortable and awkward situation. No one wants to admit to their grandma that they have had too much Christmas cheer and hand over the keys. In addition to being a little embarrassing, in the past this has also been a major inconvenience for the person who has to drive someone else home.

Recent advances in business and technology make this situation easier to handle. There are a number of companies who will send a driver to pick you up and transport you home. Uber is, of course, one of the major players in this market, but there are other companies who provide the same service. While it does cost some money, the speed and convenience of the service has proved popular around the globe. Do yourself a favor and take a few minutes to familiarize yourself with a ride sharing company before going out for your holiday parties this year. Law enforcement officers often step up DUI patrols and road-blocks to protect the public from the higher number of intoxicated drivers during the holidays. For the cost of a nice lunch, you can avoid causing an alcohol-related accident or finding yourself in the drunk-tank facing DUI charges.

Finally, ready, shoot, aim. As we are located in the heart of the mid-west, deer present a clear danger to motorists in our area. Ohio, Kentucky and Indiana have experienced a sharp increase in deer populations over the last couple decades. Hunting season starts in the early fall and usually climaxes in November. This happens to coincide with the mating patterns of white-tail deer. In November, whitetail deer are at the peak of their breeding season. The end result is often a lot of deer running into automobiles. The big question everyone has after pulling an 8 pointer out of the grill of their Explorer is, “Who is going to pay for this?” This is NOT the time to check your policy to see if you have coverage. Look up your auto policy. Call your agent. For a few dollars more per month, you may be able to get coverage for this situation. Otherwise, you are probably on the hook for the full repair bill.

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