With outside temperatures dropping lower and the days getting shorter, it seems like winter is right around the corner. Unfortunately, according to to CarSurance’s 20 Winter Driving Statistics for Driver Safety – 2022, danger lingers just around the corner as well.
During wintertime traffic, “car driving accounts for about 70% of accidental fatalities.” As it can take up to “ten times longer for a car to stop on icy or wet roads than dry pavements.”
Which is why we’ve put together this easy-to-read guide to help you safely navigate this upcoming winter season.
Step 1: Get Your Car Ready
In addition to your regular maintenance work, there are several other ways that you can make your car safer to drive in the wintertime.
- Keeping up with tire maintenance
As we’ve just pointed out, icy or wet roads are significantly harder to brake on which makes having winter tires with a deeper tread put on or getting all-season tires replaced if the tread is less than 2/32 of an inch, an absolute necessity. No matter what kind of tires you have, it’s also important to keep your eye on your tire pressure. Tires that aren’t properly inflated run the risk of decreased traction which makes you more likely to skid on icy roads.
- Checking on your car batteryWhile car batteries usually last for three to five years, it’s power can drop as the temperature does. Even if you haven’t had your battery for very long, be sure to check that it’ll hold power through the winter months. If it isn’t capable of holding a charge long then now is the time to replace it or risk being late to work because your car won’t start.
- Checking your wiper blades and fluid
Increased fog and snow can have a significant impact on your ability to see while driving and wiper blades don’t tend to age well—especially during colder months. Replace your wiper blades if necessary and make sure that you aren’t low on windshield wiper fluid rated for -30 degrees.
With the unpredictable weather headed our way the last thing you want is to get stranded somewhere, but if you do end up stranded, you’ll find it helpful to have the following items on hand:
- First Aid Kit
- Windshield Scraper
- Booster Cables
- Extra Clothing
- Cell Phone/Car Charger
- Extra fluids for car (water, antifreeze, transmission, etc)
- 2 Bags of Sand or Cat Litter (if you are stuck on snow, slush, or ice, pour the sand or kitty litter around the tires to help the tires gain traction)
- Bottled Water
- Emergency roadside kit