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Winter Driving Safety

Winter Driving Safety

Undoubtedly, when the roads are covered in snow and/or ice the best option is to just stay hunkered down at home. However, for the majority of us, that’s not an option. In fact, 70 percent of US roads are located in snowy regions. and each year over 116,000 people are injured driving in the snow and ice.

Accumulation on roadways reduces tire friction and vehicle maneuverability and greatly increases the risk of accidents. So, as winter approaches and you make the necessary preparations to your vehicle, make sure you remember these winter driving safety tips to ensure you arrive at your destination safely.

  1. Decrease your speed and leave yourself plenty of room to stop. 
    • Allow at least 3 times more space than usual between you and the car in front of you.
  2. Brake gently to avoid skidding. 
    • If your wheels start to lock up, ease off the brakes.
  3. Turn on your lights. 
    • This will make you more visible to other motorists.
  4. Keep your windshield clean.
    •  Once it has defrosted, keep the windshield wipers on to wipe away all falling snow and avoid it freezing over again.
  5. Use low gears to keep traction. 
    • Drive especially slow on hills to avoid rolling backward.
  6. Steer into a skid to avoid a crash.
    • This means if your rear wheels are going right, gently steer in that direction.
  7. Keep an emergency kit in your car.
    • This should include a first aid kit, flashlight, water, blankets, and snowmelt or sand/kitty litter.
  8. Be on the lookout for black ice.
    •  Black ice is barely visible and makes roadways, bridges, and overpasses extremely slick
  9. Don’t pass snow plows.
    • The drivers have limited visibility, and you’re likely to find the road in front of them worse than the road behind.
  10. Don’t assume your vehicle won’t have problems.
    • Even 4-wheel drive automobiles can have issues on ice and snow!

 

If your rear wheels skid…

  1. Take your foot off the accelerator.
  2. Steer in the direction you want the front wheels to go.
  3. If your rear wheels start sliding the other way as you recover, ease the steering wheel toward that side. You might have to steer left and right a few times to get your vehicle under control.
  4. If you have standard brakes, pump them gently.
  5. If you have anti-lock brakes (ABS), do not pump the brakes. Apply steady pressure to the brakes. You will feel the brakes pulse — this is normal.

 

If your front wheels skid…

  1. Take your foot off the gas and shift to neutral, but don’t try to steer immediately.
  2. As the wheels skid sideways, they will slow the vehicle and traction will return. As it does, steer in the direction you want to go. Then put the transmission in “drive” or release the clutch, and accelerate gently.

 

Stay warm & be careful out there!

This article is furnished by California Casualty, providing auto and home insurance to educators, law enforcement officers, firefighters, and nurses. Get a quote at 1.866.704.8614 or www.calcas.com.

A Simple Check to Support California’s Peace Officers

A Simple Check to Support California’s Peace Officers

You can make a difference for California’s peace officers and their families. The California Tax Checkoff program is offering a quick, easy way to help 501(c)(3) organizations in the state, including the California Peace Officers’ Memorial Foundation (CPOMF).

It’s important that we make a commitment to those who keep us safe. Every day, thousands of peace officers across the Golden State put on their uniforms hoping they will return safely. They hug their loved ones not knowing if it will be the final time. Their promise to serve and protect comes with an inherent risk of danger. In today’s uncertain world, peace officers have been targeted and others have lost their lives while protecting others.

While we hope to never see another family or community mourn, the unfortunate reality is that it will happen again; an officer will perish, a family will grieve and a community will be shocked.

Far too many of our protectors have given the ultimate sacrifice.

The family, friends and partners of more than 1,500 California officers know that terrible reality. Since 1977, they have come together each May to honor and remember those who have lost their lives in the line-of-duty. It is a solemn gathering that includes a candlelight vigil and a procession past hundreds of fellow officers who give a final salute. In 1988, the formal California Peace Officers’ Memorial was dedicated in Sacramento.

The California Peace Officers’ Memorial Foundation does more than maintain the lasting tribute; it offers moral support, crisis counseling and financial support – including a scholarship fund – for the surviving spouses and children of officers who have given their lives in the line of duty.

California Casualty has been a partner with California law enforcement for nearly 50 years, and, to show the commitment and respect for these American heroes, the company has donated $25,000 to help sustain the CPOMF scholarship program. You can help too.

The California Tax Checkoff program makes it easier than ever for California tax payers to repay the debt to those who have given their lives for our safety with a tax-deductible donation to the California Peace Officers’ Memorial Foundation. Learn more at the CA Checkoff web page, www.checkoffca.org.

The Peace Officers Research Association of California (PORAC) also created this video to help offer additional information on the check off box for CPOMF.

California Casualty Gives Back

We realize how dedicated you are to making your communities better places. That’s why California Casualty created giving initiatives to say thanks to the members of the affinity groups with whom we work.

Recently, Tucson fire captain Max S. was the recipient of a $5,000 Work Hard/ Play Hard “Choose Your Tools” award from California Casualty. The contest recognized the dangerous work first responders do. Max loved the prize because it’s a gift that will last him a lifetime. “I appreciate California Casualty for understanding how hard firefighters work,” he said.

And New Jersey RN Kellie W., a policyholder herself, started the New Year with a $1,000 Nurses Night Out award from California Casualty. Kellie, a school nurse and a member of the New Jersey Education Association, said, “I was so surprised and honored to receive this prize from California Casualty.”

The Nurses Night Out award was created to thank nurses and nurse practitioners for all they do to keep their communities healthy. The winners can use the $1,000 in any way they wish: hosting a party, a relaxing day at the spa, or taking a much-needed vacation.

Nurse Kellie plans on using the funds for a summer tour of the national parks with her family, but will also treat teachers and staff at the school to a breakfast in the near future.

“California Casualty protects American heroes and we want to show our support to the men and women who take care of America,” emphasized Mike McCormick, California Casualty Sr. Vice President.

TAKEAWAY:

Learn more about the many ways California Casualty gives back to the individuals and groups that we serve by visiting www.calcas.com/newsroom.

Read all the articles from this edition of the Calcas Connection Newsletter:

Got a Snowmobile? We Can Cover That.

Taking a ride on your snowmobile can be risky business. California Casualty has protection in case you or a family member accidentally runs into someone else gliding across the ice and snow.

Our snowmobile policies can provide coverage for:

  • Bodily injury and property damage liability
  • Comprehensive and collision
  • Uninsured motorists
  • Towing assistance

California Casualty also has the insurance you need for your RV.

Our Agency Services department can help insure high-performance snow machines and all-season, all-terrain vehicles such as quads and side-by-sides.

California Casualty wants to make sure that you can explore the great outdoors knowing that you have the insurance protection you need.

TAKEAWAY: Find out about the many insurance products California Casualty and our partner companies can provide for your snowmobile, ATV or RV at www.calcas.com/other-insurance.

Read all the articles from this edition of the Calcas Connection Newsletter:

Driver Safety Tips

Americans are driving more and there’s been a corresponding increase in in automobile crashes. As we go about the routine of driving our kids to school, battling traffic to and from work, or heading to weekend events, it’s easy to forget the simple things that can make the trip safer. Nothing is more important than the safety of you and your family, and here are some traffic and driving reminders:

  • Always wear seat belts – the most effective way to protect your precious cargo – even for a quick trip to the store or a neighbor’s house
  • Secure children and infants in appropriate car and booster seats at all times to reduce the risk of injuries by 70 percent – it’s also important to have seats inspected (as many as half of the children riding in vehicles are in improperly installed safety seats)
  • Pay attention to the roadway and avoid electronic devices, applying makeup or turning around to interact with passengers – actions that double your risk of a crash
  • Be familiar with areas where you are driving and obey road signs and local traffic laws
  • Slow down in bad weather – conditions can change rapidly
  • Practice defensive driving techniques
  • Keep your vehicle well-maintained
  • Check for recalls on your vehicles (safercar.gov/checkforrecalls)

Accidents and breakdowns happen when you least expect them. Now is also a good time to assemble a safety kit for your car or truck that includes a spare cell phone battery, first aid kit, blanket, fire extinguisher, jumper cables, reflective warning triangles and foam sealant for flat tires.

TAKEAWAY: Find a wealth of auto safety tips at our resources page, www.calcas.com/resources.

Read all the articles from this edition of the Calcas Connection Newsletter:

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