Night driving tips in Bremerton, Washington

Exercise Caution This Fall & Winter with Nighttime Driving

Night driving tips in Bremerton, WashingtonThe joys of fall and winter include going to pumpkin patches, seeing family and friends for holidays, skiing, sitting by a warm fire, and more; however, these seasons also bring longer nights which means increased risk on the roads.

Many drivers aren’t aware of the challenges of driving in the dark and with longer nighttime hours ahead, it is a good time to touch up on some safety tips for evening drives.

Sometimes, there’s no way around driving at night. So here are some suggestions to help you make a safe trip– whether you’re just running to the store or you’re headed to another city.

  1. Make certain your car’s lights are in good working condition. Not only your headlights but turn signals, taillights, etc. Also, if there are no other drivers around, use your high-beam lights to allow yourself to see better and farther while driving.
  2. Avoid speeding. Leave a bigger gap between you and other cars than you would during daytime hours. Also, leave yourself even more time for the trip so you don’t need to speed to arrive at your destination on time.
  3. Eliminate distractions. You shouldn’t be on your phone, messing around with the radio, or searching for something while you’re on the road anyway. Distractions are a lot more dangerous at night.
  4. Be aware of your surroundings. Pay attention to the road as you drive and always be on the lookout for wildlife. You should also be aware of other drivers and keep your distance, especially if their driving looks suspicious. Nighttime is when you are most likely to encounter a driver under the influence.

Data shows that nighttime driving has an increased risk of fatalities, so slow your driving at night and take your time.

Nobody likes to be lectured on safe driving, but understanding what causes nighttime driving to be more dangerous can help you eliminate risks.

What you need to understand about driving at night:

  1. Your vision is reduced. Many drivers complain about decreased vision at nighttime. This can be due to a foggy windshield, poor windshield wipers, or simply the fact that our eyes don’t work as well at nighttime. In fact, peripheral vision is greatly reduced in the dark, and having a good peripheral vision is paramount to lane changes, crosswalks, and unprotected intersections.
  2. Speeds too fast for conditions. Did you know that you can drive too fast for your headlights? This means that your headlights can only illuminate so much of the road ahead of you. Driving at night greatly increases your chances of animal collisions because you are simply traveling too fast to slow your vehicle when an animal is in the roadway. When appropriate, slow your vehicle speed by 10-15% at night to give yourself great reactionary time to things like wildlife in the roadway.
  3. Impairment. The holidays and darker days increase the consumption of alcohol and drunk drivers. Because alcohol can decrease your good judgment, it is a good idea to consider using rideshare drivers. A simple Uber or Lyft ride can save you thousands, not to mention your life or the lives of others.
  4. If you are feeling drowsy or fatigued, immediately find a place where you can either rest and wake up, or if you have another eligible driver in your car, trade places with them.

Many drivers avoid driving at night altogether. Especially as we get older our confidence and reaction time decreases. If you have any more questions about driving at night or want to discuss your auto insurance policy, feel free to give our agency a call today.

Fall and winter driving in Bremerton, Washington

How to Prep Your Car for Fall and Winter Seasons

Fall and winter driving in Bremerton, WashingtonWith summer coming to an end and cooler weather beginning to approach, now is a great time to get ahead and get your vehicle ready for fall and winter. Fall might seem early to get your car ready, but this season can produce hazardous weather that can make driving dangerous for those who are not prepared.

Depending on where you live or even where you might be driving, you could experience cold weather that can cause slick roads. To help keep you safe while driving during these seasons, we provided some tips to help get you and your vehicle ready for the changing road conditions.

Make Sure Your Car is Serviced

One of the best ways to help lower your risk of a car breakdown or accident is to make sure to keep your vehicle is well maintained.

Here is what to check:

  1. Check your tire tread. A good way to combat fall and winter road conditions is to make sure your tires are in great condition. If your tires have poor tread depth, this can affect your car’s traction abilities. If you drive over mountain passes or live in a cold environment, you should also consider adding specialized winter tires to your vehicle so you have an additional level of traction for driving.
  2. Is your heater working? Not only will this provide comfort for you when the air outside is cooler, but it will also help defrost your windshield in case fog or ice begins to form on your glass.
  3. Check your brakes. With the chance of the roads becoming slippery causing braking distances to be increased, you’ll want to make sure that your brakes are well inspected.
  4. Check your headlights. Fall and winter can bring the darkest time of the year, making objects outside of your car more difficult to see if your car’s lights are dim. Make sure all of your headlights shine bright enough so you can easily see any obstacles. Additionally, make sure your tail lights are bright enough too so that other drivers behind you can see you.
  5. Check your windshield wipers. Review your wipers to ensure they are in good shape. If your car gets into contact with any leaves, moisture, debris, etc. you can depend on your wipers to be able to keep your windshield clear and easily visible.

Additional items to consider:

Store warm clothes or a blanket in your car

In an emergency event where your car breaks down on the side of the road in cold weather, it is important to keep warm while you wait for assistance. Pack warm clothes in your car ahead of time so you can stay comfortable if this event ever happens. A good rule of thumb is to pack clothes that you would be comfortable wearing for a long time outside.

Keep Basic Tools in Your Car

  1. A windshield scrapper helps you quickly scrape ice from your windshield.
  2. A first aid kit can be very helpful. We recommend always keeping one in your trunk.
  3. Double-check that your emergency roadside kit is ready in the event you need to change your tire. This can include a jack, a jack handle, a tire iron, a screwdriver, and of course, your spare!

We hope you never have to experience a car breakdown or accident. Being prepared for the unexpected can help make a bad situation better.

If you have any questions about road safety, your auto insurance policy, or adding roadside assistance, please contact our agency.

Fun summer ideas in Bremerton, Washington

Fun Ideas to Make the Most Out of Your Summer

Fun summer ideas in Bremerton, WashingtonWe are already one month into summer. If you have kids, that means the new school year is just around the corner. Maximize your summer by using the last few weeks to create great summer memories. This doesn’t mean you have to take a special vacation, as you can easily find fun things to do around your house or in your local community. Here are a few ideas to make the most out of your remaining summer.

  • Make something fun in the kitchen

Summer offers amazing seasonal produce to create a fun experience in the kitchen. Consider making homemade ice cream, a fruit pie or cobbler, or grill up something fun on the BBQ. A new recipe or a family favorite recipe makes for an easy, fun experience at home. You can enjoy doing this by yourself or with friends and family.

  • Attend a local event

Local events can vary from attending a major or minor league baseball game, your local farmer’s market, music event, local festival, comedy show, and more. Consider seeking out what local events are going on this month for something new and exciting to try.

  • Get outdoors

When it comes to getting outdoors, there are many options to choose from. You can stay close to home by visiting a new park or you can hop in your vehicle and drive a few hours to fish, hike, camp, boat, paddleboard or kayak, and more. The outdoors can be a great space to get away, take a digital detox and enjoy nature.

  • Take a road trip somewhere in your state

Sometimes many of us like to venture somewhere out of state for road trips even though fun places exist closer to home. It is easy to think you can visit something close to home at any time. Pick a time this summer to plan a day trip or extended road trip to something new you haven’t seen in your home state. You may find it could be a new favorite location to visit.

  • Plan a Gathering

Fun gatherings always create lasting memories. Nothing says summer like a summer BBQ, pool party or slumber party for your child with his or her friends. Finish summer off with a fun gathering with friends or family.

Here are a few tips for having a safe gathering:

  • If you have kids near or in a pool, make sure there is a dedicated adult watching the pool.
  • Do not leave the grill unattended, especially if there are children present.
  • When BBQing, make sure you have a fire extinguisher ready.
  • Keep food at the recommended safe temperature before cooking to avoid making you and your guests ill.
  • Make sure your grill is clean of grease and gunk, and there are no bits of metal left over that will contaminate your food.

We hope you enjoy the rest of the summer season. If you have questions about your insurance coverage, we are here to answer your questions. Contact us today.