Over one-quarter of driving accidents each year are affected by bad winter weather conditions, resulting in vehicle and property damage, injury and death. That’s why it’s so important to make sure, as heavy rain, snow, sleet, fog, wind and ice return, that you, your family and car are protected.
Here are a few ways to make sure you’re ready for whatever winter throws your way:
Change your wipers: Bad visibility is a top reason drivers get in accidents, especially in winter. If your windshield wipers are leaving streaks or wiper blades appear dry, stiff or cracked, it’s time to replace them. While you’re at it, buy an extra set and leave them in your trunk, along with a full container of washer solution that contains antifreeze.
Turn on the AC: It may sound counter-intuitive, but if your windows are fogging and frosting up from the cold outside, your vehicle’s air conditioning, even set to a warm temperature, will help by removing humidity.
Check the lights: Snow, slush and dirt can cover up your headlights (and brake lights), reducing visibility for you and other cars around you. Wipe your lights on a regular basis, especially after long drives and bad weather conditions.
Check your battery: Car batteries are less effective in cold weather conditions and engine oil gets thicker, making it more difficult for your car to turn over. Have your car battery professionally tested and replaced if it’s on its last legs. The last thing you need is a dead battery in the middle of a snowstorm.
Warm up your engine: If you live in an area where the temperature drops significantly and if you often park outside, consider an engine block heater that can be plugged into an electrical outlet.
Lube your locks: Moisture in your car door or trunk locks can freeze in very cold conditions and make them hard to open. Use a silicone spray to lubricate your locks before it gets really cold. And if you’re already locked out, lock antifreeze can help.
Did you know? Be ready for an emergency
Keeping an emergency kit, including road flares, a jack, flashlight, blanket, ice scraper, sand, snacks and first aid kit, in your trunk is always a good idea, especially in winter.