It’s no secret that snowy, frozen roads make driving hazardous. Protect yourself before you get on the road by making sure your car can handle the conditions.
Winter Storm Gail dumped a lot of snow on the Wichita area this week, making driving hazardous. According to a report from weather.com, hundreds of vehicle crashes were reported across the area hit by the storm. Some of those were fatal.
“Driving in the winter can be harrowing, especially in snowstorms and icy conditions,” says the National Safety Council, the leading nonprofit safety advocate in the U.S. “By getting your car ready for winter and using some simple tips to drive safely, you can face almost any weather Mother Nature decides to send your way.”
The NSC offers these tips for winter driving:
Prepare Your Car for Winter
In addition to annual maintenance, here are some tips to winterize your car:
- Test your battery; battery power drops as the temperature drops
- Make sure the cooling system is in good working order
- Have winter tires with a deeper, more flexible tread put on your car
- If using all-season tires, check the tread on your tires and replace if less than 2/32 of an inch
- Check the tire pressure; tire pressure drops as the temperature drops
- Check your wiper blades and replace if needed
- Add wiper fluid rated for minus 30 degrees
- Keep your gas tank at least half full to avoid gas line freeze
- Remember to keep your car’s emergency preparedness kit fully stocked, too.
Before You Start Out
- Clean your car’s external camera lenses and side view mirrors so you’ll be able to see what’s around you
- Remove dirt, ice and snow from sensors to allow the assistive-driving features like automatic emergency braking to work
- In frigid weather, you may want to warm up the car before you drive it
- To prevent carbon monoxide poisoning, never leave a vehicle running in your garage – even with the garage door up
- If the forecast looks iffy, wait out the storm if possible; if you must travel, share your travel plans and route with someone before you leave
How to Avoid a Crash/AAA offers these driving tips:
- Avoid using cruise control in wintry conditions
- Steer in the direction of a skid, so when your wheels regain traction, you don’t have to overcorrect to stay in your lane
- Accelerate and decelerate slowly
- Increase following distance to 8 to 10 seconds
- If possible, don’t stop when going uphill
- If visibility is severely limited due to a whiteout, pull off the road to a safe place and do not drive until conditions improve. Avoid pulling off onto the shoulder unless it is an absolute emergency. Limited visibility means other vehicles can’t see yours on the shoulder.
So be careful on the roads even if the roads are only your neighborhood streets. And be sure to have your car ready for the drive by having the trusted Wichita auto care technicians at Tracy’s Automotive check it over and perform any needed service or repairs.
While you’re at Tracy’s Automotive, check into our specials, like free road hazard protection on a set of four tires.
Tracy’s Automotive is here to help you. If you don’t have time or feel you can take your car to the shop, Tracy’s Automotive will pick it up at your home or work. Then, after your car is serviced or repaired, Tracy’s Automotive will bring it back to you thoroughly cleaned.
Tracy’s passion for a better tire buying, auto care and auto repair experience drove us to develop the model of Tracy’s Automotive Tire Pros. Tracy’s has turned hard work and inspiration into a booming tire and auto repair provider. Now Tracy’s has three locations and serves customers all over Wichita and Goddard. Tracy’s is thrilled to be a part of your family’s trusted brands for all auto repair and tire needs.
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