Winter weather can be hard on vehicles, and it can contribute to car accidents resulting in serious injuries. The first snow of the winter season may have caught some Ohio drivers unprepared. However, there is still time to make sure your family is as safe as possible on the winter roads.
According to a recent The New York Times article, there are several seasonal maintenance tasks you can complete to ensure your family’s vehicles are ready for the winter. One is to make sure the tires still have the correct pressure. Remember, the colder it is outside, the lower your pressure will be in your tires, so you will likely have to add air to compensate for the cold weather. When you complete this task, be sure to leave the tire pressure gauge in the car, so it is easily found when it is needed again.
You should also make sure the drivers in your family will have all the tools needed to keep their windshields clear. For this, put an ice scraper in every car, and make sure the wiper blades on each vehicle are still in good condition. Then top off the windshield wiper fluid.
Unfortunately, sometimes emergencies happen, even when we do all the right things to prevent them. To help family members better respond to emergencies, consider building a winter emergency kit for each vehicle.
Some items to consider packing for emergency preparedness include:
- A first aid kit. This is a good item to keep in vehicles all year. If you already have one in each vehicle, take the time to go through it and stock up on any items that may be running low.
- Jumper cables or a portable jump starter. One of these items should also be in each vehicle year-round, but it can be especially important in the winter when cold weather can prevent car batteries from working properly.
- A bag of cat litter. This can be kept in the trunk and can be used under the tires if you or another driver in your family gets stuck on ice or in mud.
- A blanket or sleeping bag. It can be especially important to have something to keep the vehicle's occupants warm in the event the engine cannot be run while they wait for a tow truck.
- A flashlight or headlamp can be helpful if a driver must change a tire or perform other vehicle repairs at night. It can also make your family member more visible to other drivers who may be passing by.
- Back up cash can be helpful in case a tow service cannot be put on credit card for any reason. Just be sure that this is kept out of sight so it does not encourage someone to try to break into the vehicle.
Winter can be a hazardous time for drivers, but many dangerous situations can be avoided. With proper planning, you can make sure the drivers in your family have all the tools they need to safely navigate winter roads.