Winter road conditions change rapidly, so drivers need to remain flexible and adjust their habits to stay safe. Careful preparation can prevent a substantial number of winter driving accidents and help you respond more quickly to emergency winter driving situations. Here are five tips to prepare your vehicle for winter driving in New Jersey.
Check Your Windshield Wipers
Many drivers fail to remember to replace their windshield wipers until they are in a situation where functioning wipers could save them from disaster. Replacing your windshield wipers at the start of the winter season is an easy way to be ready for heavy snow, ice, and slush.
Also, it is important to make sure that you have enough windshield washer solvent. You are likely to run out if you do not plan ahead since most people use more solvent in winter to clear away salt, ice, and snow.
Take Your Vehicle for a Test Drive
Many problems can occur when you drive in freezing temperatures for the first time. You should always take your vehicle for a test drive in freezing temperatures to give yourself time to make any necessary repairs. If your car has issues, then you want to have a mechanic fix them before you experience difficulties on the road.
Check All Fluid Levels and Filters
Spend an afternoon refilling your fluids and dirty filters. When a vehicle has dirty filters, the engine has to work harder and uses more gasoline. If you do not know how to check filters and fluid levels, then schedule a routine maintenance appointment.
Consider Getting New Tires
Bald or worn tires are disastrous in winter weather. They significantly increase your stopping time, which is especially dangerous if you are driving on snow or ice. If you replaced your tires recently, then visually inspect them for tread, cupping, uneven wearing and cuts or nicks that could cause a flat tire. If you cannot remember the last time you replaced your tires, then you should consider getting a new set.
Prepare an Emergency Kit
No matter how carefully you prepare for inclement weather, you may still end up stranded due to a breakdown or accident. Prepare an emergency kit that will help you stay safe if you get stuck on the side of the road. Include the following items and anything else you think you may need:
- Heavy blankets
- Extra winter wear, including hats, gloves, and scarves
- Sand or kitty litter to help your tires get traction if they get stuck
- Tire chains
- A small shovel
- Flashlights and extra batteries
- A car charger for your cell phone
- A fully charged portable charger for your phone
- Bottled water and non-perishable snacks, such as granola bars, nuts or fruit bars
Keep your emergency kit in an easily accessible location. Do not keep it in your trunk since you may not have access to it if your vehicle breaks down, or is involved in a rear-end type collision.
Get the Legal Help You Need After a Winter Driving Accident
Car accident rates increase significantly in the winter months. No matter how carefully you drive in winter, another person’s careless driving could leave you with injuries, thousands of dollars in medical bills and limited work opportunities. Do not trust your future to the insurance companies. If you experience a winter driving accident, that was not your fault, then turn to a New Jersey car accident attorney for help. Reach out to Rosner Law Offices, P.C. at (856) 692-6500 to schedule a free consultation.