Every year, more than 150,000 people suffer serious accidents due to winter driving conditions. Icy roads and poor visibility can substantially increase your risk of facing a serious accident. Are you prepared for the conditions you might face out on the road this winter?
Reduce your odds of an accident and make sure you’re prepared for whatever comes your way by incorporating these key Paterson, NJ, winter driving tips into your cold weather arsenal.
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Before You Go
You know that you’re going to need to go out for a winter drive. What do you need to accomplish before you get behind the wheel? To stay safe, make sure that you:
- Wake up early. You may need more time on the road than you would need during the warmer spring and summer months. Give yourself extra time to maneuver and plan for delays, especially in bad weather conditions.
- Check road conditions before you go out. Make sure you’re prepared for whatever you may face and plan your drive accordingly. Keep in mind that rushed driving leads to more accidents, especially in dangerous conditions.
- Clear your car completely. Make sure there is no snow, ice, or frost covering your windshield. Try to remove heavy snow from the top of your car, too, since flying snow could pose a hazard for other vehicles behind you.
- Start your car a little while before you leave. Give it time to warm up so that you’ll be more comfortable and better focused on the road.
What to Keep in Your Car
During the winter months, you need to make sure your emergency kit covers everything you might need in the event of an emergency. Make sure you have:
- A blanket. It will help keep you warm if you have to stop in an emergency or give you something to put between yourself and the ground if you need to make repairs.
- A hammer. You may need to break up snow and ice or a window in an emergency.
- Kitty litter for your tires. Kitty litter can provide traction and make it easier for you to get out of the snow..
- A snow brush and ice scraper. If snow or frost appears on your vehicle while you’re out, you’ll need to remove them before you can get back on the road.
- Gloves. You don’t want to forget yours at the worst possible moment.
Taking Care of Everything Under the Hood
One of the most important winter driving tips is to make sure you have taken care of everything in your vehicle that needs your attention. Before winter arrives, take the time to check your battery and make sure that it’s fully charged. You should also:
- Check your fluids. Make sure your fluids are filled and that you’ve got high-grade ones in your vehicle to decrease the risk of freezing.
- Keep your tank full of gas. Don’t let it creep below half. Not only can low gas prove dangerous if you end up stranded and need to idle the car to keep warm, a full tank of gas can help prevent problems with your fuel pump during the winter months.
- Replace your tires. Make sure that your tires aren’t worn. Consider snow tires, if needed. You don’t want to find yourself slipping and sliding on icy roads!
Keeping Yourself and Your Passengers Safe on the Road
Staying safe out on the road is critical. Make sure you:
- Brake before you think you need to. Remember, it can take much longer to stop in icy
- Leave your air off while the engine warms up. It won’t blow warm air until the engine warms up anyway, and you can conserve fuel in the meantime.
- Keep your tire pressure consistent. Under-inflated tires have a higher risk of blowout and can decrease your gas mileage. Always check tire pressure after abrupt temperature changes.
- Avoid using your windshield wipers to clear the windshield of snow and ice. The rough texture can damage your wiper blades, which will prevent them from adequately clearing the windshield in ice and snow. Instead, scrape your windshield or allow the car to warm up naturally.
Peter N. Davis & Associates Is Here to Help
The above winter driving tips will help you stay safe on the road during cold weather. If you get into a car accident caused by a reckless driver this winter, you may need an attorney to help you seek compensation for the damages caused to your vehicle and for the injuries you suffered. Contact us today at (973) 279-7246 or fill out our online form to get your free case review.