Every year around this time it hits you with all of the shock and surprise of a horror villain leaping in to slaughter a group of unsuspecting teenagers. No, you are not watching your life suddenly flash before your eyes thanks to the grim machinations of a serial killer but rather you are finding yourself shocked by the sudden onset of a cold and dreary winter.
As such, you need to come to grips with the fact that your driving style, driving needs and what you carry in your car, truck or SUV needs to change as well. So how exactly are you supposed to prepare for the upcoming winter driving season?
Well, first off you had better remember what your mother always told you and dress warmly. Your vehicle might have a heater, heated seats and a heated steering wheel but accidents always find a way of happening. And if you wind up driving off an embankment where no one can see you (and your car dies), then you will be glad you dressed warmly.
So beyond the obvious, what else should you do to prepare yourself for driving in the winter? Read on to ensure you are following these ten helpful winter driving tips.
1. First off, if you live in a snowy climate you seriously need to think about a good set of snow tires. There is a tremendous amount of wisdom inherent in swapping out summer for winter tires if you live somewhere like Michigan. That also means that in the summer months you get to enjoy the dry weather traction of summer tires.
2. Check all of your vital fluids under the hood. This most especially applies to the anti-freeze and brake fluid reservoirs.
3. Inspect your wiper blades to make sure they aren’t dried and brittle from an intense summer or torn. You are going to need them this winter.
4. Pack yourself a first-aid kit. Many stores carry pre-packaged first-aid kits but you can save money and make your own with all of the supplies in your bathroom.
5. Make sure you carry water, extra warm clothes and some snacks in your trunk or cargo area in case you get stuck, lost or worse this winter.
6. Check your headlights and tail lights to make sure no bulbs are burned out. You want to make sure you are visible to other drivers.
7. Check your tire pressure. Improper tire pressure can adversely affect vehicle handling and that is dangerous in winter.
8. If you live in a snowy climate make sure you have your windshield scraper and a tub in the car. You never know when the windshield might get covered in ice and/or snow.
9. Change your engine air filter. This helps your engine run cleaner and it’s wise to do every half-season.
10. Check your tire tread. When checking your tires turn your steering wheel all the way to the right and the left to ensure tire wear is even across the tread. You don’t want to lose traction of suffer a blowout in winter.