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Winter Preparation

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Are You Ready for Winter Driving?

Red winter mittens with white snowflakes on them surrounded by blue snow flakes

Winter is here and that can make driving a whole lot more difficult. Are you heading home or to grandma's house? Do these things before hitting the road:

Check the weather: Are there impending storms? Can you wait them out? If you can't, plan your route and share it with your family.

Prepare you car for winter: Have a mechanic check your vehicle. They can tell you whether any of the vehicle systems such as spark plugs, brakes, or battery are in good condition.

Check the condition of the following:

  • Ignition
  • Brakes
  • Wiring
  • Hoses and fan belts
  • Spark plugs
  • Air, fuel and emissions filters
  • Distributor
  • Battery
  • Tire wear and air pressure
  • Antifreeze and freeze line

Equip you car: Always fuel up before leaving and top off the antifreeze level. In addition, make sure your car is equipped with these items:

  • Properly inflated spare tire
  • Wheel wrench and tripod jack
  • Shovel
  • Jumper cables
  • Tow chain
  • Bag of salt or cat litter (tire traction)
  • Tool kit
  • Flashlight with extra batteries
  • First aid kit
  • Ice scraper
  • Matches in waterproof container
  • Nonperishable foods that are high in energy (nuts, dried fruits)
  • Water or sports drink
  • Blankets
  • Gloves, hats and socks
  • Winter boots

Drive for the conditions: Icy? Low visibility? SLOW DOWN! Drive for the road conditions which means slow down, take your time or leave earlier to allow for extra time. If you find yourself in a whiteout or if the roads are too icy, pull off the road and wait for conditions to improve. Use your flashers to make yourself visible to other drivers.

Source: National Safety Council