Temperatures are dropping across the country. As colder weather approaches, now is the time to prepare for winter driving. Consider the following tips when hitting the road this winter.
Prepare Your Vehicle
If you’ve been waiting to get a tune-up, now is the time. You’ll be safest driving this winter if your vehicle is in tip-top shape.
Start by checking your car’s exterior, assuring your headlights, taillights, and windshield wipers are in working order. Fill your windshield wiper tank with de-icing fluid.
Inspect your tires. Place a penny upside down into several treads of each tire. If you can see all of Lincoln’s head, it’s time for a new set of tires.
Check your oil and your battery. Batteries tend to die in the winter because they’ve been weakened by the summer heat.
Don’t rush to your destination. Before you leave, check the forecast, road conditions and traffic. Give yourself plenty of time to get to where you’re going, and make sure your gas tank is full whenever possible. It doesn’t hurt to check directions and maps before you leave, so you won’t need to glance at your phone or GPS while on the road.
As an extra precaution, tell your friends and family which route you’ll be taking and your estimated time of arrival.
Be Careful While You Drive
Once you’re on the road, it’s important to avoid any behaviors that could impair your driving. Don’t text and never drive while under the influence. Alcohol and drugs can affect your coordination, judgement, perception, and reaction time. All of these are critical for driving in winter weather.
Remember to slow down. Driving in snow and ice can already make navigating your vehicle more difficult. If you see a snowplow, it’s better to drive behind it than beside it.
To stay safely in your lane, avoid using cruise control. This can be dangerous because if your vehicle starts to skid, it will accelerate, causing you to lose control. If your vehicle does start to skid while driving, steer in the direction of the skid, so that you don’t have to overcorrect to stay in your lane when you regain traction.
Prepare For An Emergency
Should something happen while you’re on the road, there are important safety rules to follow. If your vehicle stops or stalls, stay in your car, and keep the interior dome light on. Don’t run your vehicle for long stretches with the windows up or in an enclosed space to avoid carbon monoxide poisoning. If you do have to run your car, make sure the exhaust pipe isn’t blocked by snow, and run it only long enough to keep warm.
You may also want to add an emergency kit for the winter months that includes a shovel, gloves, boots, a blanket, an ice scraper, and either sand or kitty litter (to help you gain traction if you’re stuck or on a slippery road).
This winter, SFM Insurance wants to make sure you and your family stay safe on the roads. We can help you find the best auto insurance coverage built specifically for your needs. Best of all? Your agent will be the same person who handles your calls every time, and who cares about your concerns. Visit our website or call 937-382-2546 for more information. For more tips and our latest updates, visit us on Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn!