One of the major problems during a winter with continuous snowfall is placement. Where do you put it? The streets can get plowed down to the pavement to ensure a safe driving surface, but the plow-truck operators have to put the snow somewhere. It usually ends up piled high on the side of the road or in giant mounds in parking lots. The snow banks can make pulling out of driveways or side streets very challenging. Here are some important things to remember when maneuvering around the snow piles.
1. The drivers on the main road always have the right-of-way.
The rules of the road state that if you are pulling out onto a main street, the drivers on the main road automatically have the right-of-way. While it would be awfully nice of them to slow down, be more careful, and even courteously let you out, they still have the right-of-way. We know that it’s tough to see around the snowbanks without inching out, but be very cautious for drivers already in the roadway.
2. While the snowbanks may impair your visibility, it is still your responsibility to safely maneuver around them.
It can be difficult to see around the snowbanks, but you must maintain control of your vehicle at all times. When pulling out of a side street or driveway, proceed slowly and try not to put your vehicle in the middle of the street. You may also need to make wider turns into oncoming traffic due to snow, so be very aware of all traffic as you pull out.
3. If you are involved in an accident, you can be found at-fault.
If you are involved in an accident caused by your inability to see over a snowbank, you can be found at-fault, especially if you are pulling out into a main roadway (see rule #1 above). Luckily, the liability limits of your auto policy will apply if you cause bodily or property damage to someone else.
4. Your collision coverage should apply if you hit a snowbank.
You are backing up and didn’t see that frozen snow pile behind you. So, now your bumper is hanging off. What do you do? If you have a collision coverage on that vehicle, you can file a claim. The insurance company should cover the repairs minus the deductible. If you are not sure if you have collision on your vehicle, call us today.
So be careful out there! Drive slower than usual and be aware of what is going on around you. As always, if you have any questions about your insurance, feel free to give us a call at 1.800.603.6434 or 401.725.8510.
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