According to the weather experts, we could be in for a very cold and snow-filled winter season caused by El Nino this year. Cold temperatures and icy roads can create hazards for drivers. It is important to prepare yourself and your vehicle for these hazards to help ensure this winter driving season is a safe one.
We recommend taking precautions to help protect you and your car in the worst winter weather conditions. One of our premier insurance carriers, Travelers Insurance, has compiled some safety and winter preparedness tips to help keep you safe on the roads this winter.
Before You Hit the Road
The cold, snow and ice can make driving dangerous if your vehicle is not properly maintained. Here are some things you can do to get your car ready for winter:
- Make sure all scheduled maintenance is up-to-date. Have your mechanic check fluids and hoses to help reduce the risk of a mechanical breakdown.
- Ensure that your tires are in good condition, properly inflated and have ample tread. If you live in an area where heavy snow is common, consider having snow or winter tires installed.
- Make sure your heater and window defrosters are working properly.
- Check that your lights and windshield wipers are operating properly and that your washer fluid reservoir is full.
- Make sure your battery is in good condition. Even a newer battery can fail if it gets cold enough.
- Make sure your gas tank is full and your phone is charged. In bad weather, the major roads could be backed up for hours or closed.
Create a Winter Survival Kit for Your Car
If you drive in remote areas or are planning a long trip, keep a winter survival kit in your car. While some of these items may be appropriate all year long, these supplies can help you deal with winter weather. Your kit should include:
- Safety emergency blanket.
- Clothing essentials such as extra coats, sweatshirts or warm sweaters, and gloves.
- Security items such as a flashlight, candles, small knife and waterproof matches.
- Water and non-perishable snacks such as energy bars or trail mix.
- First-aid kit.
- Ice scraper.
- Sand and salt.
- Snow shovel to help dig your car out if you get stuck.
- Jumper cables (make sure you know how to use them.)
- Tow rope/strap.
- Brightly colored cloth to tie to the outside of your car if your car gets stuck and you need to call for help.
We know that winter can create challenging conditions for drivers. But we also know that adequate preparation can help keep you safe even under the worst weather conditions.
We encourage you to drive carefully in adverse weather conditions and to avoid driving in blizzard conditions unless you absolutely have to. Please stay safe out there on the roads this winter! We hope these tips will help properly prepare you and your car in the event your are in dangerous driving conditions anytime soon.
Source: Travelers Insurance