There’s something so serene about tucking into bed during winter’s frigid nightfall. It feels safe just to snuggle into a cocoon of blankets as the bitter cold thrashes outside. We all sleep a little deeper, smile a little wider, and dream a little bigger as hour after hour of slumber passes by this time of year. And as sublime as it would feel just to hibernate in all that comfort, the painful truth is that every morning, every one of us has to tear away from bed, dress up, and drive off into the foggy, frosty, misery of winter.
Driving in the cold isn’t just a chore, it’s also dangerous. Freezing temperatures naturally take a toll on the mechanical components of every vehicle. Not only that, but winter means slippery roads and! low visibility from rain and snow. Every driver needs to exercise added caution on the road during winter because there’s a higher likelihood of encountering unsafe driving conditions. Here’s a quick guide on how to protect yourself, and your vehicle, while driving this winter:
Thanks to fog, rain and snow, traffic becomes a ridiculous nightmare in the winter regardless of where you live. Don’t just assume that you can follow the same schedule you’re used to and still arrive on time. Prepare to embark earlier, and account for delays, as you plan your journeys.
Don’t ignore the Weatherman:
Always make sure to check the weather forecast before driving for extended periods of time. Taking ! a few seconds to research what the weather’s going to be like can spare you hours of being stranded in the cold.
Take Care of Your Car:
Anytime a season of extreme weather is on the horizon, it’s always advisable to service your vehicle and equip it with materials to help withstand the changing weather. When it comes to winter, the best approach is to prepare for rain and snow:
• Have an automotive specialist check your electrical, heating and cooling systems for any malfunctions. Also have them top-off your antifreeze and check your radiator fluid levels.
• Either refresh or stock up on roadside emergency supplies. Always travel with: Umbrellas, Blankets, Ice Scrapers, Window Squeegees, Properly Fitting Tire Chains, Tow-Rope, a Snow Shovel, a Snow Brush, a legible Instruction Manual, disposable Surgical Gloves, heavy-duty Work Gloves, a fully inflated Spare Tire, a Jack, a Wrench, Wheel Wedges, a fully charged flashlight, Emergency Roadside Warning Triangle Reflectors, Emergency Roadside Flares, Booster Cables, extra Warm Clothing and a First Aid Kit.
• Top-off your windshield wiper fluid and replace your windshield wiper blades.
Replace your vehicle headlight bulbs, and fog light bulbs, to ensure maximum visibility in the dark.
• Monitor your tire pressure regularly in order to avoid flat tires. Because cold temperature contracts air quickly, flat tires are more prevalent in the winter.
• If your car has bee! n idle in the cold for hours, rev your vehicle’s engine on neutral for five minutes in order to warm it up before taking to the road. This also gives you a chance to defrost your windows before driving off.
The most dangerous thing about driving in winter is wet surfaces and black ice. If you’re ever behind the wheel during this season, stay focused as you drive and constantly scan your environment for any risk factors. Don’t use cruise control at all on slippery road surfaces because drivers take longer to brake while using this feature.
Surviving winter as a driver isn’t rocket science. It’s a matter of common-sense precaution. In a nutshell, all you need to do is plan ahead, stay warm and be responsible. For more information on how Adriana’s Insurance Services can help you stay safe on the road, visit any of our offices or give us a call at 1-800-639-7654. We got you covered!