Driving in the winter means snow, sleet, and ice that can lead to slower traffic, hazardous road conditions, hot tempers and unforeseen dangers. To help you make it safely through winter, here are some suggestions from the National Safety Council to make sure that you and your vehicle are prepared.
At any temperature – 20 degrees Fahrenheit below zero or 90 degrees Fahrenheit above – weather affects road and driving conditions and can pose serious problems.
It is important to listen to forecasts on the radio, TV, cable weather channel, or forecasts in the daily papers.
Prepare your car for winter. Start with a check-up that includes:
Checking the ignition system, brakes, wiring, battery, antifreeze, hoses and belts
Checking the air, fuel and emission filters, and the PCV valve
Checking the tires for air, sidewall wear and tread depth
An emergency situation on the road can arise at any time and you must be prepared. Following the tune-up, a full tank of gas, and fresh anti-freeze, your trunk should carry:
A properly inflated spare tire, wheel wrench and jack
A Tool kit, shovel, Jumper cables, a bag of salt, sand or cat litter
Be prepared with a “survival kit” that should always remain in the car. Replenish after use.
Working flashlight and extra batteries
Reflective triangles and brightly-colored cloth
First aid kit
Exterior windshield cleaner
Ice scraper and snow brush
Wooden stick matches in a waterproof container
Scissors and string/cord
Non-perishable, high energy foods like unsalted canned nuts, dried fruits, and hard candy
In addition, if you are driving long distances under cold, snowy and icy conditions, you should also carry supplies to keep you warm, such as heavy woolen mittens, socks, a cap and blankets.
Information and recommendations are compiled by The National Safety Council makes no guarantee as to and assumes no responsibility for the correctness, sufficiency or completeness of such information or recommendations. Other or additional safety measures may be required under particular circumstances. Last revised 04/09 (Permission to reprint granted by the National Safety Council, a membership organization dedicated to protecting life and promoting health.)