Being stuck on the side of the road is never good, but harsh winter weather brings additional safety challenges. Snow and ice are hazardous conditions that make driving difficult, but Tennesseans are all too familiar with black ice patches that can also cause accidents. Make sure you get to your destination safely by ensuring you and your car is prepared for winter weather.
Know your route and weather conditions.
It seems silly to start with such simple advice, but most accidents could be prevented if simple measures were taken when planning your drive. Knowing your route is crucial if you want to arrive at your destination safely. If the streets are covered with snow and ice, try to avoid winding roads that would make controlling your vehicle difficult. Most states salt major highways which could be a safer option than relying on side roads. Keep an eye on the weather forecast and plan appropriately, so you aren’t driving when the weather is at its worst. If at all possible avoid being out at night where it is hard to see black ice.
Check your lights.
Winter days are much shorter meaning we spend more time driving at night than any other time of the year. Before the extreme cold sets in check that your headlights are at their brightest. Often as our cars age, lights become foggy or yellowed, which limit road visibility. Changing them out or merely replacing burnt out bulbs will enhance safety on the road. It’s important not only for you to see where you are going but for other drivers to see you.
Make sure you have battery power.
Besides repairing your headlights, you will want to check the condition of your car’s battery. Battery power declines when the temperature drops and most cars need a lot of energy to get started so ideally, you will want to get this checked as soon as possible. It’s best for all cars whether they are gas, diesel, or electric to have enough time to warm up before hitting the road. To prepare for winter, have your mechanic check your battery for:
- Sufficient voltage
- Charging systems
- Proper cable connections
Keep an eye on gasoline and washer fluid levels.
To avoid accidents, you want your car in proper working order before you hit the road and one aspect many people overlook is fluid levels. Keeping your gas tank at least half full in the winter helps prevent water from freezing inside your fuel pump. This will also come in handy if you get stranded and need to keep the engine running to stay warm. It may sound bizarre to worry about wiper fluid when winter only makes you think about snow and ice, but debris from these slippery weather conditions can accumulate on your windshield. Having enough wiper fluid will help reduce the risk of accidents due to low visibility.
Make sure your tire pressure is at the right PSI.
Checking tire pressure is a good habit to develop year-round. Air contracts as it gets colder, meaning your tire’s pressure could drop making it challenging to navigate slippery roads. For every ten degrees your thermostat drops, your tire pressure can lower one to two pounds giving you less traction and making stirring a lot more difficult. Even if you filled your tires up in September, checking them before roads become too hazardous will reduce the chance of an accident and costs very little to do.
Stay safe and keep your car on the road with an affordable auto insurance from Royce Williams Insurance.