With the cooler months slowly setting in, parts of the country are going to start seeing the first traces of snow, sleet, freezing rain, and ice forming over the roads. This can create added challenges to our daily lives, the most important being safe car operation. You can increase your driving safety during these months by doing a few simple things. We have listed a few of these strategies below so you can keep yourself and your family safe when winter weather becomes a problem.
All in One: Service at an Auto Shop
Before any harsh winter conditions startup, it’s important to have your vehicle serviced to be fully prepared for what the weather can bring. Below is a list of important items to have properly serviced to help your vehicle run at its full capacity.
- Battery – Battery power decreases as the temperature drops, meaning that it takes more power to start your car in the winter.
- Cooling system – It is recommended to maintain a ratio between 50/50 and 70/30 of antifreeze to water.
- Brakes – Cold weather doesn’t necessarily hurt your brakes, but a thorough inspection can ensure the best performance when driving in winter conditions.
- Belts, hoses, spark plugs, wires, and cables – These can go bad at any time of year, but if they go bad during the winter you could be stranded in a very cold place for a very long time.
The climate of your city can affect your need for winter tires. If you live in an area that does not experience harsh winters, keeping or investing in all-season tires will help you just fine! If you do live somewhere that experiences harsh winters often, it is in your best interest to invest in winter tires to handle all the terrain challenges that come with the new weather wave. In addition to the snow, sleet, and freezing rain, when the temperature is consistently hovering around or below freezing the rubber compounds in non-winter tires will harden, which decreases the tire’s ability to grip the road. This is why winter tires are so beneficial to those who live in areas that are heavily affected by winter weather. Winter tires use special compounds engineered to resist hardening in cold temperatures, which provide better traction in ice, snow, slush, and even dry pavement.
Pack a Winter Safety Kit
It is important to also have a “winter safety kit” in your vehicle at all times during the winter. If something goes astray or you experience an issue, having these items could help you in a pinch.
- First aid kit
- Pack of matches
- Ice scraper
- Warm clothing (jacket, boots, socks, and hat)
- Non-perishable food and drinks
- Jumper cables
- Bag of sand
- Car tool kit
- Extra antifreeze
If you are interested in learning more about insuring your vehicle, reach out to your local agent today.