Make Your Car Safer in Bad Weather Conditions

According to the American Journal of Public Health, bad weather is a factor in up to 30% of all car crashes in the United States each year. This can add to the general displeasure of driving in the rain, sleet, or snow: you’re way more likely than before to end up in an accident and become hurt or hurt someone else. Accordingly, it makes sense to do your best to lower these risks as much as possible. Now that we’ve worked through the Why, here’s an article that can walk you through how to do this:

bad driving conditionsIt all starts with basic maintenance; keep your brakes working at top capabilities, keep your oil changed, make sure you have enough brake fluid, all that stuff. In general, a tune-up before each winter is a good, if expensive idea. That extra money could go towards saving your life… you never know. What you do know is, you don’t want to be broken down at the side of the road when the weather is poor and visibility is bad for fellow drivers. As we already learned, their chances of colliding with you are tripled in these conditions. So yeah, check your oil, transmission, coolant/antifreeze and brake fluids. Get your windshield wipers replaced if they’re looking old or you’ve noticed that they’re not as effective as they used to be. Check your tires and be sure to rotate them and replace them if and when they need it. Balding tires can increase your chances of skidding and/or hydroplaning in bad weather or getting a flat tire and ending up on the side of the road in the same dangerous situation we already discussed earlier.

If you’re wondering how to inspect your vehicle’s car for road-readiness, you’ve got a good question brewing. Tire inspections allow drivers to diagnose problems like lodged sharp objects, worn treads and poor tire pressure before they become dangerous problems. To check the tread, find where it looks most worn and slip a penny into a groove with Lincoln’s head facing down. If you can see the top of his head (because the treads are too worn down and short to extend any further), you may want to buy new tires.

If you’re living in the snow, you need to invest in snow chains. Make sure you understand how to fit them onto your tires and which ones are your drive tires so that you put them on the right pair. They’re not meant to be used on dry surfaces or to be used at high speeds, so make to use them appropriately and safely!

snow chainsKeep road salt, sand or kitty litter at hand. If your tires can’t get traction on an icy surface, a healthy dose of any of these three products ought to either melt the ice or provide enough traction to get you off and moving.

Keep an Emergency Car Kit on hand. You can buy these complete in stores or online, or assemble them yourselves. Just make sure to have bandages, gauze, antibiotic ointment, tape, an instant cell phone battery recharger, reflective triangles, road flares, a distress sign, a small tool kit with basic tools like a crescent wrench and adjustable screwdriver, jumper cables, a battery recharger, an ice scraper, a small shovel, a tow rope, an emergency radio, a blanket or sleeping bag, winter clothing, high-energy foods, etc.

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