Before you head to your vacation destination this winter, it is important for your safety and the safety of your passengers, that you make sure your vehicle is ready for winter travel. Safe winter driving isn’t only about safely operating the vehicle while you are behind the wheel, but also making sure that your vehicle is in topnotch condition and that you have the right equipment with you in emergency situations.
Here are 5 winter travel safety tips all drivers should take into consideration:
- Service your car. You might be looking forward to your winter destinations, but before the cold season really settles in, have your car checked by an experienced auto mechanic to make certain it is in prime working order. Your vehicle’s brakes, heating system, fluids, oil and filter and wiper blades should be checked, among other things.
- Change to winter tires. If you live in an area that has a harsh winter climate with freezing temperatures or will be traveling to a vacation destination that fits this description, you need to put winter tires on your car. High-performance summer tires and all seasons are not safe for driving in the snow or in icy conditions. Winter tires provide extra grip on the frozen road.
- Be aware of tire pressure. To get the best mileage and the best performance from your vehicle, as well as to ensure safety on the road, make sure your tires are properly inflated. Tires should be maintained at their correct pressure and should not be over-inflated or under-inflated. A tire pressure gauge is a small and handy tool that quickly reads the pressure of your tires, letting you know if you need to add air, release air, or if you’re good to go.
- Stock your car with handy tools and items. A multipurpose tool that contains a hammer, wrench, screw driver, pliers, knife, etc. is ideal for a car, anytime of the year. Other handy tools and items to have include the necessary items needed to change a flat tire (ex. spare tire, lug wrench, etc.), mini-portable air compressor, flashlight, heavy-duty working gloves, extra bottles of windshield wiper fluid, etc.
- Emergency gear is important. One never knows what they might need in an emergency. Items you’ll want to keep in your car that may come in handy in an emergency situation include: A fully stocked first aid kit, wind-up radio, emergency blanket, an extra change of clothes, extra winter gear (hats, scarves, mitts, etc.), road flares, rain coat, caution cones, wind-up flashlight, etc.
Be prepared for winter travel and enjoy your journey.