Connecticut drivers aren’t strangers to driving in the snow. However, we can all use a little reminder as to what to do to properly prepare for the winter season; which can put exponential wear and tear on your vehicle. There are a few simple precautions you can take to help your car survive the winter in good condition. Wear and tear cannot only affect the life of your vehicle, but also your car insurance premiums.
Here are some preventative measures to take during winter to avoid increased car insurance premiums:
Have your vehicle thoroughly inspected.
Before winter reaches the coldest months of the year, make sure that the maintenance on your car is evaluated thoroughly so everything is up to code. Change the oil and fill up both the wiper fluid and engine coolant. It is recommended to check tire pressure once a month to ensure it is consistently at the recommended PSI. You may want to add a little air into your tires anyway since the air will contract on bitter cold days. Doing this before sub-zero temperatures arrive will allow you to add an adequate amount of air while you can still feel your hands.
Make sure your tires are safe.
Check your tires before winter hits to make sure you have enough tread left on them. The roadways will be challenging enough without the extra worry of bald tires. A great way to check to see if your tires have sufficient tread is the penny test. Stick a penny face down into the tread of each of your tires – if you can still see more than half of Abraham Lincoln’s head, it’s time to consider replacing your tires. To get the best protection you could also invest in snow tires.
Don’t let your gas tank get too low.
If you have a habit of letting your gas tank run all the way down to ‘E’, try your best to break this habit during the winter. Your engine has to work harder when it’s cold out and you don’t want to risk running out of gas. Always keep your tank at least halfway full. By having half of a tank or less, it could cause ice to form in your fuel lines.
Be careful of where you park during bad weather.
Accumulated snowfall on tree branches can cause them to become weak and break. Do not park your car under any trees where weak branches can fall. You also shouldn’t park on the street during a storm. This could get your car buried or struck by a plow, or even get your car towed if there is a parking ban in effect – which will certainly increase your car insurance premiums.
Wash car regularly to prevent salt erosion.
In the winter, especially in New England, your car will be constantly picking up salt. If left on your car for an extended period of time, this salt can cause corrosion. Even though it can be difficult to do in the low temperatures, you should be rinsing off your car periodically. Spray the undercarriage of your car where it is the most susceptible to corrosion. If possible, try to shoot for once per month or whenever salt excessively builds up.
Leave an emergency kit in your car.
For the safety of yourself and any passengers you have with you, always keep an emergency kit in your car in the event you become stranded or have an accident. The kit should include blankets, a flashlight, washer fluid and flares. Also, make sure you have a reserve of water and nonperishable snacks.
Keep yourself safe and your car insurance premiums steady by preparing your vehicle for any situation that winter throws at you. With the speculation that New England will experience especially harsh weather conditions this year, you’ll also want to know how to better control your vehicle on snowy and icy roads.
If you have ever received a traffic ticket, your first instinct may have been to fight it – after all, many people believe that the citation was unjust and that they did not deserve the harsh penalty that they received. However, roughly only 3 percent of drivers who receive traffic citations actually contest them in court, and choosing to do so relies purely on the circumstances surrounding the ticket. You’ll want to ask yourself the following questions before you consider fighting Connecticut traffic violations
1. Is the cost of the ticket worth the expenses it would take to fight it?
Going to court requires taking time off of work, finding reliable transportation, and possibly hiring legal counsel to help you with your court battle. All of these costs combined may be greater than the loss you would incur by just paying the ticket.
2. Do I have the time to go through the process of fighting it?
Court cases for driving infractions typically don’t drag on for weeks or months like other cases can, but you still must be prepared to take at least one entire day off from work just in case. Taking time away from your work and personal schedules to fight a simple speeding ticket could serve as an inconvenience, especially if you have an unforgiving employer or a position that really requires you to be there on the court date.
3. Will the ticket influence my insurance rates?
If your premium increases because of the ticket you received, you may actually be saving money by fighting it in court – even with the expenses mentioned above. Check with your insurance agency to find out how certain citations affect your rates.
4. Could I lose my license if I don’t fight the ticket?
Some motorists run the risk of losing their licenses if they have tallied up multiple traffic violations. If this is the case, it provides a valid reason for you to go to court, as you don’t want to lose your mode of transportation or be forced to attend traffic school over another ticket.
5. Do I have a solid defense to successfully fight the ticket?
Without proper representation, fighting the ticket may simply be a waste of time. Review your options you may need to hire an attorney who has experience with traffic cases and can help advise you through the process as well as in court.
Defenses for Fighting Connecticut Traffic Violations:
If you are considering going to court, there are several possible defenses (if applicable) that you could use to successfully get a traffic citation overturned. For example, if you can provide proof that the view of the police officer who pulled you over was obstructed, this could warrant dismissal of the violation. If you were cited for speeding and a radar gun was used, check whether it could have been compromised by something in the surrounding area. Alternatively, you could bring up the need to keep up with the flow of traffic (if there was any at the time).
Whenever you receive a traffic ticket, make sure to get testimonials from witnesses and document everything, including the officer’s name, badge number, their temperament, and the weather conditions. Finally, take photos to document the area where you were pulled over.
In the event that you are pulled over, it is important to remember one thing. Whether you believe the traffic ticket you received is justified or not, ALWAYS cooperate with the citing officer, abide by his or her instructions and treat them with the utmost respect. Acting irrationally and unnecessarily escalating the situation could result in additional citations that will only affect you long after the officer has left.
The most common traffic citation issued by police officers on a daily basis is due to speeding. But do you know what types of driving infractions in Connecticut could cost you the most? Read the 7 Most Serious Traffic Violations in the Nutmeg State.