Winterize your car
Put together the most complete emergency kit possible
Be prepared for excessive rainfall
- Winterize your car.
Add the proper amount of antifreeze to the engine coolant. It will protect your car against freezing and corrosion.
Check the battery to make sure you have ample power for cold winter starts. Check your brakes. If the brakes are not performing well, the car may pull to one side when stopping.
Take along emergency supplies. A flashlight, blanket, sand or salt, and an ice scraper are indispensable. Check the heater and defroster. They'll keep you comfortable and the windshield free of ice and condensation. Change your oil. Winter grade oil ensures easy starting. Use the right windshield fluid. Together with proper wipers, an antifreeze solution will keep your windshields clean at all times.
- Learn driving skills for winter conditions.
Allow extra time to reach your destination. Double the safe driving distance. Extra space between you and the car in front of you will give you ample time to come to a stop. Keep your car clean. Rinsing regularly with clean water will reduce corrosion caused by chemicals, salt and gravel used for de-icing roads. Beware of bridges and overpasses. Ice tends to form more rapidly on these surfaces, so adjust your driving accordingly. See and be seen. Take care of visibility by keeping your lights on and the windshield clean. Know what to do if you get stuck on ice or in snow. Do not spin your wheels. Remove the snow around the tires and gently rock your car back and forth.
- As seasons change, especially in spring and autumn, be prepared for excessive rainfall.
There are many important things to be aware of. These are:
- aquaplaning and how to avoid it
- when wet roads are most dangerous
- how to deal with skids
- the importance of reducing speed
- how to keep the right distance from other vehicles and maintain traction
- Put together the most complete emergency kit possible, especially for winter driving in remote locations.
Be ready in case you get stuck. Use a solid container for your kit (a heavy bag or case). Some things to include: road flares, wool blankets, jumper cables, snacks, small cook stove, soup packets, cook pots and eating utensils, thick socks, hat, mittens, medications, tire chains, snow shovel, candle, lighter and matches, flashlight and radio with good batteries, something to read during long waits.
Don't forget medicines and essential personal supplies. Always have a first-aid kit. And make sure your mobile phone has adequate battery strength.
- Prepare well in advance to meet the special requirements of different seasons.
You must prepare your car and tires well in advance for winter, but also for the other seasons. Fog, excessive rainfall, snow and ice, and glare and heat all bring specific kinds of adjustments and maintenance.
- Know how to deal with fog.
It is best not to drive in fog, but if you must, take the following precautions:
- Slow down. If you see headlights or taillights, slow down even more. A driver may be driving in the center of the roadway or may be stopped or barely moving.
- Drive with your headlights set on dim, or use foglights.
- Do not overdrive your headlights.
- Stay within the limits of your vision. You may have to stop suddenly.
- If the fog is too dense, pull off the roadway and stop.
- Do not drive at five or 10 miles per hour.
- Use your turn signal long before you turn and brake early when you approach a stop to warn other drivers.
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- Know how to deal with high winds.
When driving in high wind, be aware of the following: drivers of trucks, recreational vehicles, campers and trailers-in-tow must be especially careful; reduce your speed and make steering corrections when you go from a protected area to an open area; reduce your speed when meeting large vehicles such as trucks and buses; heavy rain or sleet often accompanies high winds. You should be alert to wet or slippery areas and plan for those conditions.