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Preparing for Cold Weather Driving

Saturday, December 1, 2018
Preparing for Cold Weather Driving

Did you know that it can take three to twelve times the distance to stop on wintery roads in comparison to dry ones?

This winter, be prepared for all the obstacles that come with the fall and winter seasons- making roads hazardous: rain, wildlife, darkness, snow, and ice.

As a result, you should take some steps to prepare your vehicle to drive in adverse conditions:

  • Fluids 
    • Make sure that your vehicle’s fluids have been changed recently, and that its battery is in good condition.
    • Be sure to check the radiator to ensure there are proper winter coolant and no leaks.
  • Tires
    • Check the tire pressure on all of your tires’ regularly.
    • Cold air can cause your tire’s air pressure to decrease to dangerous levels.
    • Winter roads provide very little traction, so be sure tires have good tread depth.
    • Consider changing your tires to a set that can better handle wet, snowy or icy conditions.
  • Emergency Kit – Keep an emergency kit in your vehicle.
    • This kit should include an ice scraper, jumper cables, flashlight, radio, blanket, and a first-aid kit.
  • Heater, Defroster and Wiper Blades
    • Test your car to be sure you will be able to keep the windshield clear in the event of a heavy snow, sleet or hail storm.
  • Battery
    • Cold weather lowers battery power; make sure yours is in good shape.

Quick Driving Tips:

  • If you become stuck in deep snow, do not spin your wheels. Instead, move them from side to side to push the snow away and pack it down.
  • Accelerate slowly and gently to ease out of a patch of ice or snow.
  • Leave a greater following distance and gear down when stopping.
  • The best way to stop on ice without antilock brakes is by a rapid, light pumping of the pedal.
  • During heavy storms with low visibility, take time to pull over and occasionally wipe off headlights, stoplights, and taillights so that other vehicles can see you.
  • Beware of low underpasses in the winter, as ice or packed snow accumulated on the road could increase your vehicle’s clearance height.

Always remember to check the weather forecast before you drive. If a severe storm is on the way, either stay at home or tell a family member where you’re going and how long you’ll be there.

Material posted on this website is for informational purposes only and does not constitute a legal opinion or medical advice. Contact your legal representative or medical professional for information specific to your legal or medical needs.