Cruising down the highway during the summer is a breeze, but when the winter months roll around, being on the road can be a whole new ball game. Snowstorms, black ice and plain old wear and tear on your vehicle can make going from point A to point B a bit more dangerous in winter. The key to staying safe is staying prepared.
Here are a few auto safety tips for bad weather that can help you command the road all winter long.
Pack a Safety Kit
You never know where you are going to be when bad weather strikes, and if you get stuck on the road with no supplies or tools in your car, you could be in big trouble. An emergency roadside kit has a number of tools that can keep you safe until your car troubles are resolved, including flares, hazard triangles, a tire gauge, jumper cables, a flashlight and more. The thing about these tools is that you never really need them until you really need them. Stash them in the trunk for good measure.
Keep Your Tank Full
Driving around until the gas light comes on may seem harmless, but it can actually put you at risk during many situations, including bad weather, traffic accidents and even natural disasters. Keeping your gas tank at least half full at all times is good for your engine and can give you extra wiggle room in case you are forced to take a detour to avoid a windy road in bad weather. A full tank of gas also can buy you some valuable time and heat should you get stuck in a snowstorm.
Ride on Good Tires
In most of the country, the fall and winter months mean rain, sleet, snow, black ice, high winds and more nasty weather. Having good tires is a one of the best ways to ensure that your car stays where it belongs: on the road. Before the weather starts to get bad, check the tread depth on your tires by sticking a penny facing upside-down into the deepest part of the tire between two treads. If you can see all of Lincoln’s head, it’s most likely time to replace your tires. According to the law in most states, tires are legally worn out when they have worn down to 2/32″ of remaining tread depth.
Test Your Battery
Cold weather can wreak havoc on a car battery, especially if you park your car outdoors in the freezing cold. Testing your battery before it dies on you is a great way to ensure that you don’t get stranded with a dead battery. If it is weak, shop around and compare prices, rather than being charged the highway robbery fee by a towing company.
Replace Your Wiper Blades
Wiper blades typically need to be replaced once per year, and when heavy snow falls, you want to be sure that they can handle the weight. Investing in a new pair is an inexpensive way to add to your road safety.
– By Samantha B. Rivers, Editor