It’s no secret that some areas are terrible when it comes to preparing roads for snow and ice during the winter months. Some areas don’t even plow or use salt on their roads, making the pavement incredibly slippery and dangerous. The Road Information Program estimates that roads with poor conditions cost drivers $400 per vehicle every year, and that’s without considering the number of lives lost to fatal accidents caused by winter road conditions every year. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, car accidents cost the U.S. nearly $900 billion per year in economic costs and societal harms. To protect yourself and everyone else on the road, try these three tips before the snow starts up for the winter season.
Check Your Tire Pressure
Proper tire pressure is incredibly important for both the lifespan of your car and your safety on the road. You should already be checking your tire pressure once per month, but this is incredibly important during the winter. Cold weather can cause your car’s tire pressure to drop more rapidly, meaning that your tires could be fine one week and then have too low of tire pressure the next. Once the temperature regularly gets under 40 degrees Fahrenheit, keep an eye on your tires to ensure they’re well-inflated.
Make Winter Exchanges
Not all items on your car are designed for every type of weather. Your wiper blades might not be equipped for snow and ice or your wiper fluid might freeze. Give your car a once-over and make sure that everything you’ve got currently on or in your car is ready for the winter. Check your oil too; if you’re due for an oil change, be sure to use winter-grade. Opt for a thinner oil for cold weather.
Triple-Check Your Antifreeze
Anti-freeze is potentially the most important thing for your engine in the winter.
Without everything properly in place for your anti-freeze (e.g. if you don’t have enough, if you don’t have the right type, etc.) your engine can freeze. Make absolutely sure this essential piece of the puzzle is in place before you drive this winter.
Keeping your car in top shape is essential for tackling difficult roads this winter. Give your car a thorough inspection before the temperature drops to keep you and everyone else safe on the road.