There are many ways to be prepared for winter weather driving.
We all know that road conditions can change in an instant. While Winter Storm Landon takes over much of the Unites States this week, there may be a few drivers who find themselves unprepared for such an event. Whether it’s rain, sleet or snow, being prepared for a winter storm could save a life. Use this winter weather driving checklist to keep yourself and others safe on the roads.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Association, there were 182,000 police reported crashes that occurred during wintery conditions. Even the most prepared drivers may not be ready for changes associated in bad weather.
In addition, we all know how important it is to drive slow and give truck drivers a snow plows as much room as possible. After all, those roads are their offices.
Tires and speed are the two biggest factors when driving in winter weather. Tire pressure may change with the temperature so be sure to monitor your tire pressure often. If you notice a shake in your steering wheel while at speed, this could be a good indication that your tire pressure is off. Remember, do not inflate your tires to the PSI listed on the sidewall. This is the maximum pressure and is not recommended. Other key points to look for when inspecting your tires are:
- Tread-wear. First and foremost, you want to make sure your tires can grip.
- Damage. Sidewall damage or exposed chords increase risk of blowout
- Age. The National Highway Traffic Safety Association recommends replacing tires every six years.
Some batteries may not have enough cold cranking amps to get your car going in sub zero temperatures. Check your batteries age and sticker to tell you how many cold cranking amps you have. It may be a good time to upgrade.
Windshield Wipers and Washer Fluid
Nothing like getting stuck behind a nasty mist of salt and road grime on your drive only to realize your washer fluid is frozen and your wipers are out of date. Many crashes occur as a result of poor visibility. Upgrading your vehicles wipers is a lost cost essential item before winter weather hits.
You may be able to see fine, but can others see you? A good way to avoid this is to make sure all lights are in working order before the grey winter weather driving begins. Third brake lights, which are often overlooked, can really help deter being rear ended when you have to stop suddenly. Give the driver behind you every opportunity to not hit you by making sure your third brake light is working.
Now that your vehicle is ready, are you? Use our Winter Weather Driving Checklist to make sure you have everything you need for a 5 minute or 5-hour commute.
Winter Weather Driving Checklist
- Full Tank of Gas
- Ice Scraper
- Small Snow Shovel
- Sand or Kitty Litter
- Jumper Cables
- Road Flares
- Spare Tire & Jack
- Small Toolkit
- First aid kit
- Flashlight (good to have so you don’t have to rely on your cell phone flashlight)
- Extra Clothes – Might be a good idea to toss a few extra old coats in the trunk this time of year.
- Snacks and other high energy food
- Cell Phone Charger
- Power Bank – For extra-long unexpected events
- Games – Small travel board games or puzzles in case electronic devices die.
In conclusion, it’s a good idea to always be ready, but if you’re not, get ready now following these simple steps. If you would like more information on safe driving tips read more on our blog post here.