Winter car safety checklist
Check your antifreeze, make sure your battery is well charged, and keep your gas tank fullThat helps prevent condensation inside of it while also ensuring you’ll have fuel if you’re stranded in cold weather.
Replace worn windshield-wiper blades ...that might smear your windshield in the rain.
Use an additive in your windshield-washer reservoir ...to prevent freezing.
Keep windows and lights clear of snow and ice
Don’t lower your tire pressureIt reduces steering control and doesn’t help with traction on ice or snow.
Carry an ice scraper and glovesCarry matches to lightly heat the key if the door lock freezes.
Lubricate the door and trunk locks
...to prevent them from freezing.
If you plan to use studded tires ...on your front-wheel, four-wheel, or all-wheel drive vehicle, tire dealers recommend placing them on all four wheels to minimize loss-of-control problems.
Make sure your car’s tailpipe is clear of snow and ice ...to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning.
Don’t slam on your brakesYou’ll lock the wheels and slide.
If your car starts to slide...ease off the brake or the accelerator and turn your wheels in the direction you want the front end of the vehicle to go.
Maintain more distance between vehicles...than you would in fair-weather months.
Use caution on two-way streets...since head-on collisions are the greatest killer in snow and ice.
Use extreme caution when approaching bridges and overpasses...which get icy before other roadways because they ’re not insulated by the ground.
Also beware of shaded roadways and intersections...which are more likely to ice over and become slick.
When approaching intersections...use caution and don’t assume the cars around you can stop.
If you’re caught in a storm and your car gets stuck...stay in it and wait for rescue. Occasionally start the car to provide heat, but always leave a window cracked to avoid carbon monoxide poisoning.
Take extra food and clothing...in case you have cold-weather delays or breakdowns on the road. If you’re taking a longer trip through rural areas, consider bringing a sleeping bag for warmth – just in case you get stranded.
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