As millions of Americans prepare for the holiday season and the end of 2015, it’s also time for motorists to gear up for the changing weather. That’s because the icy and freezing conditions of winter can affect how vehicles function and how they interact with the roads. It’s also because drivers may need to make some adjustments to their driving behaviors in order to safely traverse the slick and snowy roads of winter (and to reduce their risk of a winter collision).
So, here are some tips to help you get your vehicle and yourself ready for safe winter driving.
How to Get Your Vehicle Ready for Winter
- Check your battery and other major vehicle systems – Cold weather can pull voltage from the battery and impact the performance of the major systems in your vehicle, like the ignition system, the transmission system, the exhaust system and the electrical system. So get your vehicle serviced and have these systems maintained or repaired if needed.
- Change the oil – If you are not currently using oil that is formulated for cold conditions, now is the time to change out your vehicle’s oil. This is important to ensuring your engine works properly when the temperatures drop.
- Check/replace your vehicle’s tires and brakes – Both of these components are critical to safe wintertime driving, so error on the side of caution and replace your tires/brakes if they are more worn down (rather than newer).
- Replace your wiper blades & replenish the wiper fluid – Slush and ice can break the wiper blades, and the cold can freeze wiper fluid (especially if it is at low levels). So put in new wiper blades and add more wiper fluid to minimize the chances that you’ll experience visibility problems when driving in the winter.
- Spray your vehicle’s locks with lubricant – This will prevent the locks from freezing up on you when the temperatures drop really low.
How to Prepare Yourself for Safe Winter Driving
- Keep your gas tank full – While you should try to keep it as full as possible, don’t let it drop below ½ full. This can help you stave off freeze ups.
- Lower your driving speed – Take it a minimum of 5 mph slower when driving in the winter. You may want to reduce your speeds even more when it’s snowing, there is freezing rain or the weather/road conditions may be particularly adverse for other reasons.
- Leave a lot more room between vehicles – This will provide you with plenty of stopping room, which can be essential to avoiding a crash when the roads are slick, other drivers hit the brakes at the last minute, etc.
- Know how your vehicle handles on slick roads – If you have never driven your vehicle in winter weather, take some time to test out how it handles before hitting the road. You can do this in an empty parking lot (for instance). And taking some time to familiarize yourself with these differences can be essential to appropriately adjusting your behaviors behind the wheel when winter conditions are more challenging.
- Check the weather conditions before driving – And re-plot your course or reschedule your trip if the weather is or will be especially bad.
Contact a Littleton Car Accident Lawyer at Bahr, Kreidle & Flicker
If you have been hurt in a traffic crash, contact a Littleton car accident lawyer at Bahr, Kreidle & Flicker to find out more about your options for financial recovery.
To get more information about your potential case and rights, attend a free, no obligations initial consultation with one of your attorneys. You can set up a meeting by calling us at (303) 794-7422 or emailing us using the form on this page.
From our law offices in Littleton, we represent clients throughout Colorado, including in the Denver Metro Area, Arapahoe County, Adams County, Jefferson County and the cities of Lakewood, Highlands Ranch, Lone Tree, Castle Rock, Westminster, Centennial and Aurora.