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Winter Driving Safety Tips

Winter Driving
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Winter Driving is more than having a 4 wheeled drive or experience in the frozen north.  It is about preparedness, common sense, and looking out for other drivers.  I have seen all manner of accidents caused by winter driving conditions, and know the damage vehicles can do.

When driving in wintry weather:  slow down, stretch the two-second rule to four seconds or more, never use cruise control and know how to use the type of brakes your vehicle has to their maximum safe effect.

9 Winter Driving Safety Tips:

  • Since your battery works harder than ever in the cold, have it professionally checked before winter sets in.
  • Have a professional check your antifreeze for both quantity and quality, but don’t stop there.  Do the same with the rest of your car’s fluids:  oil, transmission, brake, battery, power steering and windshield washer.
  • As for gasoline, keep your tank at least half-full throughout the winter.  Adding gasoline antifreeze directly into the tank may prevent a fuel-line freeze-up.
  • Take a good look at your wiper blades.  A summer’s baking may have left them streaking or otherwise not up to the winter freeze-thaw cycle.
  • One more thing to have done while your car is in a professional’s hands is, of course, have the brakes and exhaust system checked.  Brakes are your last line of defense against becoming stranded; a faulty exhaust system adds to the danger if you do become stranded.
  • Make sure all tires including the spare meet the penny test:  insert a penny into the tread in several places (don’t cheat, either – go for the most worn places!); if you see the top of Lincoln’s head, replace the tire.  You should do this often, but worn tires are especially dangerous in winter driving conditions.
  • Make sure your jack is working and accessible.
  • Speaking of tires, check their pressure often.  When the temperature drops 30 degrees, your tires may lose as much as five pounds of their air pressure – and tires that don’t have enough pressure lose traction.
  • If you have a pick-up or similar vehicle with less rear-end weight, carry a sandbag or other artificial weight – especially important if the vehicle is rear-wheel drive.



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