Arrive Safely With These Seven Winter Driving Tips
This post brought to you by Kelley Blue Book. The content and opinions expressed below are that of thismamaloves.
As the kids transition from their summer to their school routines, our weather does a major transition of its own. Those dog days of summer are replaced by that cool crispness in their air that puts a little zip in your step. The leaves begin to morph into a beautiful pallet of gold, yellow, red, orange and brown. As those leaves begin to fall and they crunch under your feet, the kids get a few weeks of leaf pile jumping fun before the air takes that turn and becomes a cold snap. Before you know it, we are seeing snow flurries, are turning on the heat in the house and the car and winter coats are coming out of storage. As beautiful as a snowy landscape can be, driving in it can be something completely different. If you are not well versed in the rules of the winter roads, you can be a hazard to yourself and others when you take your car out for a winter drive.
For many of us, Kelley Blue Book is known as the Trusted Resource® for their vehicle valuation and information on what people are paying for their new and used cars. What you may not be aware of, is Kelley Blue Book also offers valuable tips to keep you and your family safe while on the road. The NHTSA states there are almost 212,000 accidents each year due to snow and sleet. In order to avoid becoming one of those statistics, Kelley Blue Book has compiled 7 winter driving tips.
- Electrical System: The cold weather can affect your car battery, so you want to be sure it is ready for the cold and wet winter weather. What you may not know is your batter could be on the cusp of needing to be replaced. You do not want to find this out when your car will not start or it leaves you stranded if it starts and then stalls. Take your car in and have a diagnostic run on it to determine if you need a new batter or not.
- Cooling System: Most of us think about the cooling system in the summer when the chances of it overheating are greater. In the winter, the antifreeze in the cooling system is what keeps your car from freezing up when it is freezing outside. Many people are not aware your car can still overheat, even when it is cold outside. Be sure to have your fluids as well as your belts and hoses checked before your winter weather gets out of control.
- Tires: If you are in an area of the country that gets a lot of snow, you should have the appropriate snow tires. Depending on where you live, snow chains in the trunk should be a no brainer. If you are in an area that gets intermittent snow just a handful of times, you should have a good set of all-season tires.
- Wipers: There is nothing scarier than to be on the road in the winter, the snow starts to come down and your wipers are not working. The summer heat can make your wiper blades dry and brittle, rendering them useless in the winter when you really need them. If need be, replace those wipers as well as filling the windshield washer fluid reservoir.
- Driving: How well do you know how to drive in the snow, ice and sleet? Many people in the north are pretty versed, but a refresher course is not a bad idea. Read up on the rules of the winter road and then head over to an empty parking lot to practice.
- Gasoline: Do not leave your gas tank on empty. This can literally be the thing that puts you in danger. If you run out of gas in the cold, you do not want to be stranded somewhere. Keep the tank with no less than ¼ of a tank and you should be good to go.
- Plan for The Worst: All of these tips are good to follow, but they are not 100% foolproof. You can still find yourself in a bad situation and being prepared is imperative in this frigid weather. Be sure your car has an emergency kit that includes warm clothing/blanket, flashlight, water for drinking, food, chains for the tires, kitty litter and flares.
In addition to these great tips, Kelley Blue Book has what you need to make the most informed decision when buying a new or used car. They have put together a compilation of the 10 Best All-Wheel Drive Cars and SUVs under $25,000 as well as the 10 Best Cars for winter. No matter your driving needs and budget, Kelley Blue Book can help you keep your family safe, keep your budget intact and your days merry and bright!