Winter often brings extreme weather conditions that drivers should pay attention to and prepare for. Daylight savings also causes the winter month to have a decreased number of daylight hours, causing us to drive in the dusk or dark more often than we would prefer.
There are several precautions every driver should take each winter to be safer on the road.
Keep up with regular maintenance
Regular maintenance checks help to keep your vehicle running smoothly and prevent problems. Extreme cold temperatures can cause batteries to run slower. Test your battery at the start of the season and test it periodically during the colder months. Cold temperatures can also affect tire pressure. Make sure your heating system is running smoothly and that all fluids are properly filled.
Prepare your car for each trip
Every single time you drive in snowy weather, take the time to clear snow from your windows, mirrors and lights. Make sure you can see and that other vehicles can see you. Allow your car to heat up for a few minutes before driving.
Use caution on ice and snow
When tires lose traction on ice and snow, your vehicle becomes unpredictable and difficult to maneuver. Allow more distance between other vehicles. Accelerate and decelerate slowly. Do not slam on your brakes. Do not use cruise control.
Have an emergency plan in place in case you break down in wintry weather. Have numbers available to call for help or a tow. Know how to use your hazard lights; they will keep your vehicle visible in the snow. Keep warming blankets in your vehicle to keep you warm until help arrives.