Even in warner states, you need to be prepared for winter driving. Many people hit the mountains to ski or hike. Winter is fast approaching and that should remind you to think about two things. First, now is a good time to review your auto insurance program and second, it is time to start thinking about how driving conditions may change in the next number of months. It might be heavy rain, snow and or even fog, being prepared can help get you safely to your destination.
Winter weather changes almost daily and road conditions can create serious concerns and worries. There are some things you can do to prepare yourself for winter driving:
1. Know the road conditions before you travel.
2. Never warm up a vehicle in an enclosed area, such as a garage.
3. Use all-weather or studded tires.
4. Use your seat belt every time you get into your vehicle.
5. Make certain your tires are properly inflated.
6. Keep your gas tank at least half full to avoid gas line freeze-up.
7. Keep an emergency kit in your trunk.
8. Drive below the speed limit in hazardous conditions.
9. Winterize your car with fresh antifreeze, a good battery, operating exhaust system and oil that will withstand the rigors of cold weather.
10. If possible, avoid driving until the roads are safe and passable. You don't want to slide off the road, and road crews don't want to plow around disabled vehicles.
11. Do a thorough pre-trip inspection of your vehicle paying special attention to your tires, brakes, windshield wipers, and windshield wiper fluid.
12. Allow extra room between vehicles.
13. Brake early, brake slowly, brake correctly, and never slam on the brakes.
14. Let someone know where you'll be going and when you expect to arrive or return. Tell them to call authorities for help if you don't get back or check in within an hour of your estimate.
Keeping up with car maintenance year-round is important, but it carries added significance in the winter to prevent becoming stranded. As always, try to time your routine maintenance ahead of long-distance travel. Putting off service today can turn into an expensive problem down the road.