You can’t control the weather, but you can prepare yourself! From snow and ice to sleet and rain, the cold weather season has plenty to throw at you. Here are a few winter car safety tips to help you though the holidays:
Driving on Ice
Ice can be extremely hard to spot while on the road, especially “black ice.” Black ice is a very thin layer of ice with very few air bubbles, making it transparent. This can then cause the road to look simply wet, rather than icy. Black ice is most often found on roads close to bodies of water and overpasses, as moisture in the air freezes on the pavement. Additionally, sudden temperature drops can cause already wet roads to freeze very quickly. Try to avoid abrupt turns and fast acceleration/deceleration, which can cause you to lose traction!
Stuck in Snow
First, make sure your tailpipe is clear, and then dig out one to two feet around each tire. Next, start your car and drive forward and backward, rocking the wheels a few inches at a time. If you vehicle has traction control, you may want to turn it off so your wheels can spin enough. While road salt can help to melt the snow, it won’t provide much traction. However, sand or cat litter can help, if you happen to have them on hand.
Car Seat Safety
Before you hit the road this holiday season, make sure your car seat is installed correctly! The seat should not move more than one inch in any direction. If you can pinch the strap between your fingers it’s likely not tight enough, but don’t over-tighten! Also remember that bulky clothing can make it difficult to properly tighten straps. You can watch instructional installation videos and find a car seat inspection station here!
Winter Car Maintenance
Depending on where you live, the winter months can be extra harsh on your vehicles. Make sure to choose a washer fluid with de-icer that won’t freeze in your area and to check your blades every month! You’ll also want to make sure that you have the correct kind of tires. All-season tires are usually the standard for new vehicles, so you may want to invest in snow tires. While road salt is helpful to people, it’s harmful to cars. Waxing your vehicle can help to prevent any corrosive damage and save your paint job. Just be sure to wax in advance, as wax can be too hard to apply if it’s below 50 degrees out.
We hope these winter car safety tips help to keep your holiday season safe!