Content Summary for Winter Weather and Automobile Maintenance Infographic
Car accidents can be prevented, but YOU need to ensure that you take the proper steps to avoid highway catastrophes.
Winter conditions can seem to come on quickly and without warning.
Be prepared in terms of car maintenance.
One of the most important steps: make sure that your tires are prepped for winter roads
- If you have no thread, or low thread, your tires cannot disperse the snow, ice, and slush.
- Vehicles that have tires with low thread can easily skid or slide on the winter roads.
- If your tires do not have sufficient thread on them, you need to buy new tires.
- Freezing temperatures can also result in low tire pressure. Together with thread, these conditions can be ripe for a dangerous traffic collision.
- Remember! It is not just your safety that you need to consider.
If you fail maintain your vehicles tires and get into a car accident as a result, you can be found responsible for property damage to the other vehicle and for any bodily injuries.
Do You Need To Replace Your Tires?
- Tires generally are good for about 30,000 to 45,000 miles
- Take a penny and put it between the threads. If you can see Lincoln’s head above the tire, your thread is too low.
- It’s a lot less expensive to replace a tire than to get into an accident and to pay repair bills.
Tips for Weatherproofing Your Vehicle
In additional to properly maintaining tires, the following steps are recommended to prevent a dangerous winter crash:
- Always de-ice your windshields: it is inexpensive to buy wiper fluid that has ice-melting additives.
- Consider putting an ice and frost shield on your windshield to prevent a dangerous ice buildup.
- Always warm up your car before driving: ensure that the ice on your vehicle has melted.
- Check your antifreeze: your vehicle may need a different type of coolant to avoid freezing. Take your car in for routine maintenance, ask your mechanic to check antifreeze levels and type.
Icy Rain and Dangerous Road Conditions
Even with a properly weatherproofed vehicle, driving in winter can be extremely hazardous.
Sleet, snow, ice, and freezing rain are often accompanied by heavy fog. As such, even if a storm has passed through, do not assume it is safe to drive. The roads may be quite slick, and fog can prevent good visibility. Slick asphalt is extremely dangerous.
10 Safety Tips for Winter Driving
If you have to drive in snow, freezing rain or heavy fog, stay safe!
- Keep a winter safety Kit in your car at all times during the cold months, which should include a snow shovel, sand or salt, an ice scraper, and jumper cables.
- Check your batteries and make sure it is fully charged, especially if it is an older battery. Remember, batteries are more likely to fail when it’s cold outside.
- Always clear away snow and ice from your car before driving. This includes all windows, mirrors and lights, as well as snow accumulation on the hood, trunk, or roof of your car.
- Do everything you can to improve visibility, which means driving with your headlights on even if it is daytime.
- Make sure your windshield washer reservoir is full and your windshield wiper blades are in good condition.
- Reduce your speed and always increase your following distance. You want to give yourself enough time to properly stop and avoid a car accident.
- Learn how to brake properly if you hit a slippery patch of ice. To do this; you need to know if you have anti-lock brakes – this information is essential to knowing how to properly brake. Take a look at your owner’s manual or talk to your mechanic about how to brake if you encounter an icy road.
- Do not use cruise control – you should be in control of your vehicle if you encounter snowy or icy conditions.
- Bridges and overpasses get icy before highways. As such, be particularly cautious when you are driving on these surfaces.
- Do not let your gas tank drop below half full. This way, if you get caught in a storm and need to pull over, you will have a source of heat.
Winter is a dangerous season for driving. Take steps to prevent car accidents!
The Weather Channel
Good Housekeeping Research Institute