Driving in winter weather can be treacherous. According to one analysis, an average of 800 Americans per year were killed in winter-related auto accidents between 2011 and 2015. So here are 5 ways to winterize your vehicle.
Clearly, it’s important to be particularly cautious when driving during this time of year. It’s important to prepare yourself for a range of possibilities, from what to do after a car accident to how to safely stop during a snowstorm. Keep the following tips in mind to boost the safety of yourself, your family, and other drivers out on the road.
Choose a Vehicle Suited for Winter
If you live in a region with harsh winters, consider buying a vehicle that’s capable of handling them. Research lists of popular all-season vehicles to ensure you find one that performs well throughout the year.
Switch to Snow Tires
The cost of switching to snow tires during the colder months is worth the added safety. In fact, snow tires often last years. You can simply store them during the other seasons and have them installed on your car every year before winter strikes. This makes them a smarter and more cost-effective investment than you might think.
Choose the Right Driving System
If all-wheel drive stays on automatically in your vehicle, you can typically stick to that driving system. That said, four-wheel drive is beneficial in off-road conditions and instances when you may be stuck in the snow. Switch it on if you ever find yourself in that type of situation.
Check Your Vehicle
Making sure your vehicle is ready for winter involves checking certain factors. For instance, cold temperatures may cause your tire pressure to drop. Check this regularly throughout the season. You should also make sure your antifreeze levels are adequate before driving in the colder months.
You can complete those tasks yourself. However, to thoroughly protect yourself, bring your car to a mechanic to check the battery, ignition, brakes, wiring, spark plugs, and anything else they suggest.
Keep a Safety Kit in Your Vehicle
Unfortunately, you can’t be certain you’ll never find yourself stranded out in the snow. Make sure you’re prepared if this does happen by having a box already stored in your vehicle with a first-aid kit, flashlight, warm blankets, clothes and food, road flares, and an ice scraper. It’s also important to be certain your phone is thoroughly charged when driving in winter weather. Keep a spare charger in the vehicle in case your battery gets low.
Again, driving in winter is typically more dangerous than driving in any other season. Protect yourself and your loved ones by taking these key steps. Your safety is worth the time and effort.
Thanks to Catherine Metcalf for writing this great guest post. We also would like to thank Joe Bloomfield for providing some of the photos.
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