Winter Car Tips

Follows these simple suggestions and improve your winter driving experience.

Emergency Kit: Being stranded in the snow may seem like an unlikely situation, however, it’s best to be prepared for anything. Packing an Emergency Kit is an easy way to be prepared. “I feel some people think about but don’t have are Emergency Kits,” Isabella Bartolotta, senior, said. “You have to think about the what-ifs and what you would in those situations where you could be stranded in the snow.” Stock an Emergency Kit with a flashlight, blanket, hat, gloves, and warm clothes, including snow pants. Bottled water and dry snacks are also something to consider adding.  

Navigating Around Snowplows: After snowfall and the roads are icy, it is typical that snowplows will be out plowing and salting the roads. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the best way to navigate snowplows is to stay behind the vehicle. Besides, it will be safer to drive on the road behind an active snow plow. 

Tires and Brakes: Tires and brakes are arguably the most important car parts to take care of. Before driving on the roads, check the tread depth of your tires. If the tires don’t have enough tread, it will be difficult to gain traction with the road. If a light comes on indicating low tire pressure, fill the tires with air to the proper amount. “I think it’s good to understand how a car is going to react when you break,” Mark Baker, engineering teacher, said. “And I think it’s important that younger drivers, maybe practice those things in an empty parking lot to get a feel for how to react to situations when your car does slide.”

Exterior of Car (Windshield, Lights): Taking care of your car during the winter season is crucial. Before the snowfall, State Farm recommends raising your windshield wipers to prevent them from freezing to the windshield. When it is snowing and icing, never use your windshield wipers to remove ice and snow. Instead, use a snowbrush and ice scraper. It is important for the driver to be able to see clearly.  

Keep Your Tank Half-Full: It is tempting to drive until your car is almost out of gas just to save a couple of bucks. However, during the winter weather, this is not smart. Keeping your tank half-full is preventing moisture from forming in the gas lines and possibly freezing. If the gas freezes, then the car won’t start and the gas lines will need to be thawed out. By keeping your tank half-full, you will be able to avoid this issue. 

Driving Slowly (Increasing your following distance, accelerate and decelerate slowly): Students and adults have a tendency to speed everywhere. “I am worried that teenagers won’t slow down or stop soon enough,” Jessica Lasecki, parent of 2 young drivers, said. During winter weather, it is highly advised to drive slowly to prevent accidents. Adjust your speed accordingly based on the amount of traction the car has on the road. By driving slowly, you’ve increased your margin of safety.

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