Winter weather is just around that corner, and that means so is winter driving. Be prepared for the snow and ice, and reduce your risk of an automobile accident, by getting your vehicle ready now. The following provides some information on what steps to take, and what you can do, should you still experience an accident in Wisconsin this winter season.
Tires and Traction
Snow, ice, slush, and remnants of fall leaves can create some pretty slick surfaces for drivers. To make matters worse, rutting on the roads can occur, making it difficult for smaller vehicles to maneuver their way out of danger. Improve your traction by ensuring you have enough tread on your tires, and by switching out your all-weather tires for snow tires as the weather starts to get colder. Alternatively, you can use tire chains when the risk of skidding on slick roads is high due to snowfall and ice. Keep in mind, however, that you will need to remove the chains when they are not needed since it is prohibited to use tire chains in non-slick conditions.
Vehicle Winter Maintenance
Tires can help your car stay safely on the road, but there are still many other winterizing maintenance tasks to attend to. For example, you need to ensure that your car battery is checked since cold weather tends to drain some of their energy. Fluids should be checked, filled, and flushed, if necessary. Brakes should be checked and changed, if needed, especially since the slick roads can make stopping even more difficult. Also, if you do not need to change tires, be sure to check their pressure since they can deflate some once the weather starts to turn cold.
Preparing for winter should not stop with just maintenance and tires. Instead, you should plan ahead and pack a winter weather survival kit in your car, just in case you ever are stranded during the winter. Items most recommended include a flashlight, jumper cables, water, non-perishable food, extra clothing (including socks and gloves), a map, a list of emergency numbers, phone charger, flares, extra warm blankets, cat litter, and an ice scraper. Also, know how to decrease the risk of long waits in adverse weather (i.e. letting others know you are leaving and when you arrive at your destination).
For more information about winter weather driving, please click here.