While part of the country is starting to warm up and get ready for spring break, other areas are still deep in winter weather. If you live in a cold climate where winters are long and snow is prevalent, it’s important to be prepared before getting on the road. Prepping your car before heading out can mean safer travels for you and others on the road. Check out these 6 tips to keep in mind.
- Get Your Car Serviced
Take your car to get serviced regularly—particularly in the winter months when weather can take an even harsher toll on your vehicle. Checking the tire tread and pressure is incredibly important when there could be snow and ice on the roads. Make sure the oil is changed as necessary and that the coolant is replenished.
Strong battery life is crucial as well. Don’t run the risk of being stranded in freezing temperatures with a dead battery. It’s also a good idea to regularly check that all of your lights work.
- Warm It Up Before You Go
Give your car plenty of time to warm up before you get on the road. Not only will your vehicle be nice and toasty for you by the time you head out, but it allows the engine time to warm up which can increase its longevity.
This also gives your windshield and windows time to defrost before you get behind the wheel. It can be incredibly dangerous for rushed drivers to get on the road without being able to fully see out of all of their windows. Give yourself the extra time necessary to start it early.
- Stock Your Vehicle with Emergency Items
Whether you’re traveling a long distance or you’re headed out on your morning commute, it’s always important for your car to be fully stocked with emergency items. Flares, flashlights, jumper cables and plenty of warm blankets are necessities. A snow shovel and ice scraper are great to keep on hand as well. An extra cell phone charger, water and food are also good to bring along. Keep in mind that anything can happen, and being overly prepared is much better than being underprepared.
- Map Out Your Route
If you’re traveling long distances or you simply aren’t familiar with the area you’re headed to, make sure to map out your route before you go. Using the GPS on your phone is great, but having a hard copy of a map as backup is crucial.
- Wash Your Car Regularly
Winter weather can be incredibly harsh on your vehicle. If you’re in an area with lots of snow and ice, grit from the roads can get clogged up in the wheels, rotting the metal over time. It can also build up on the headlights, making it even more difficult to see and be seen in inclement weather.
- Stay Alert Behind the Wheel
Whether it’s raining, sleeting or snowing, it’s incredibly important to remain alert while driving. According to lawyers in Newark, NJ, auto accidents aren’t uncommon—particularly in inclement weather. Keep a close eye on the roads and drive slowly. If the weather is too bad to see, don’t be afraid to pull over until it clears.