As winter approaches, the need for careful and prepared drivers becomes all the more crucial. This article presents 20 winter driving tips that ensure safety on roads and highways, particularly during winter storms. Proper vehicle maintenance is one of the key aspects of these tips, but equally important is the preparation for travel. This includes carrying essential items such as medication and warm clothes, as well as other necessities that can help keep you safe and comfortable during your journey.
Winter, often referred to as ‘old man winter’, not only brings snowy white gifts to our streets and highways but also challenges to our driving skills and vehicle maintenance. It’s the time when all drivers need to get their vehicles in the best possible shape, ready to face the rigors of the season. These winter driving tips are beneficial even in regions where snow is a rare occurrence, as they provide a comprehensive guide to maintaining your vehicle and ensuring your safety on the road.
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20 Essential Winter Driving Tips: Safeguarding Your Journeys
It is the time of year again when old man winter leaves snowy white gifts on the streets and highways, which implies. It is time to get those vehicles in tip-top form. Even in areas where snow rarely happens, these are excellent maintenance and safety tips for maintaining your vehicle and your safety on the street. Here’s where to start.
Begin by looking in your vehicle’s glove box for the operator’s manual. It is your vehicle’s bible. If you do not have a car owner’s manual, search online for a downloadable guide with your vehicle’s year, make, and model. Your owner’s manual can help you find maintenance points using easy-to-identify symbols and schematics with hints for keeping your vehicle properly maintained.
Windshield Washer Fluid
Check your windshield washer fluid level before heading out on the road, particularly if inclement weather is in the forecast. Keep additional washer fluid in the back of your automobile to refill as needed. Pick a streak-free washer fluid that will not freeze up in low temperatures. Windshield washer fluid comes in ready-to-use and concentrated forms. If you pick the concentrated form, follow the manufacturer’s instructions for properly diluting the fluid prior to filling your windshield washer fluid reservoir.
Windshield Wiper Blades
Inspect, clean, and replace worn windshield wiper blades. Clean up residuals left from auto cleaning products, road dirt, sap, and bugs with a mild detergent or a cloth dipped in windshield washer fluid. Elements like sin, sand, salt, heat, and ice damage the rubber on the blades. Peeling and hammering rubber or squeaking and chattering wiper blades means it is time to replace them. Check with your owner’s manual for instructions for installing and removing new blades. Most blades snap on and off fairly easily.
Keep a spare tire in the trunk, make sure it’s inflated, and take a jack. Use the suggested tire pressure to air up your spare and keep all four tires properly inflated. Under-inflated and over-inflated tires cause tire wear and travel dangers such as blowouts. For vehicles manufactured in 2003 and later, there’s a label affixed within the driver’s side door jamb that offers proper inflation pressures to the tires and spare.
Check your tire tread for signs of wear. Tires have built-in treadwear indicators. When indicators are observable or there are cracks, lumps, or cords on your tires, it is time to change them. Use the penny test to check the tire tread. If you are able to see all of Lincoln’s head when you add the penny on your tire tread with Lincoln’s head facing down, then you need new tires.
Based on weather conditions where you live, you can run all-season tires or snow tires on the street. All-season tires are made to perform well in most gentle conditions including light snow. Snow tires are made for heavy snow and cold temperatures. There’s an enormous difference in the design of every tire. Select your tires sensibly basing your decision on average weather conditions in your area.
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Winter’s biting cold can wreak havoc on vehicle batteries, particularly those already exhibiting signs of weakness. The plummeting temperatures can quickly drain a weak battery, potentially leaving you stranded in the cold. As part of your winter driving tips, ensure that your battery is regularly checked and maintained at a full charge. This is especially crucial if your driving habits primarily involve short-distance trips, which can strain the battery over time.
If your battery dies and leaves you stranded, a pair of jumper cables or a jump starter stored in the back is a lifesaver. Jump starters are often favored over jumper wires because there’s no need to flag down another motorist to assist jump-start your automobile and your vehicle can be able when you jump it. Just make sure you turn off all accessories that draw power from the battery before jump start, including radio, heater blowers, mobile phone chargers, and lights.
Engine Oil and Coolant
Maintain your engine’s oil level. Your owner’s manual offers advice on properly assessing your vehicle’s oil level when to include oil, how much to include, and the suggested SAE thickness that’s perfect for your engine during cold weather. Maintain your engine coolant working with the maintenance program and coolant brand suggested in your car’s manual. Coolant protects your motor against freezing and overheating.
Roadside Assistance and Trip Interruption Insurance
Add 24-hour roadside assistance to your own insurance coverage. The price for roadside assistance is surprisingly low and covers you when you Run out of gas, require a jump, have a level, lock yourself out of your car or truck, or want your vehicle towed. Ask your broker about trip interruption insurance to Cover meals, lodging, and transport and what, if any, restrictions apply.
Incorporating technology into your set of winter driving tips can significantly enhance your safety on the roads. Consider subscribing to text message alert systems for the regions you frequently travel through. These alerts can provide timely updates on road conditions, helping you avoid dangerous situations such as slippery patches, accidents, and road closures. Should adverse weather render the highways impassable, these alerts can also assist you in identifying alternative routes or locating accommodation in unfamiliar areas.
Gasoline and Cell Phones
Keep your gas tank filled and your cell phone charged. If you are stranded in a snowstorm, your vehicle’s engine will offer a heat source just until your gasoline runs out. A charged mobile phone provides a source of communication helping you to get emergency services, such as 24-hour roadside assistance, tow trucks, or authorities, and keeps you updated on road and weather conditions.
One of the most vital winter driving tips involves having a well-equipped emergency kit in your vehicle. You can purchase a pre-made winter emergency supply kit, or for a more personalized touch, you can assemble one yourself. Essential items to include are any necessary prescription medications, an ample supply of drinking water, and a selection of warm clothing. Remember to pack gloves, hats, scarves, and boots to protect against the harsh winter elements as you navigate the snowy roads this season.
The maintenance of your vehicle is not merely a matter of personal convenience or cost-saving, but a significant contributor to the safety of all road users. Adhering to a routine of regular safety checks and upkeep, either personally or through a trusted service shop, is a key aspect of our winter driving tips. By sharing these principles of winter vehicle safety and maintenance with your friends and family, we can collectively work towards reducing the frequency of life-threatening incidents on our nation’s highways, particularly during the challenging winter months.