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Winter is just around the corner. Soon, the leaves will be gone and the snow will be here. With plunging temperatures, we’re focusing this month on winter safety tips, starting with your car.

Because we live in an area that gets a lot of snow and cold temperatures, it’s a good idea to plan ahead and ensure your car is ready for the upcoming winter season. Here are a few tips we hope will help keep you safe and out of trouble on a cold, wintery road.

Don’t run out of gas

Can you imagine yourself in the middle of a blizzard when suddenly your car runs out of gas? Winter road conditions can extend the time it takes to get where you’re going, using more gas than what you’re used to seeing. During the winter season, keep your tank above a quarter of a tank. Don’t wait for the empty light to come on.

Have a car emergency kit

Hopefully you never find yourself stranded on the side of the road during a snowstorm, but if you do, you’ll be glad you brought along an emergency kit.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) [1], your emergency kit should include the following items:

  • cell phone, portable charger, and extra batteries;
  • blankets;
  • food and water;
  • booster cables, flares, tire pump, and a bag of sand or cat litter (for traction);
  • compass and maps;
  • flashlight, battery-powered radio, and extra batteries;
  • first-aid kit; and
  • plastic bags (for sanitation).

Get your tires ready

If your tires are getting pretty worn, now may be a good time to consider a new set. If your tires are still in good shape, check the tire pressure—cold weather can change the air pressure in your tires. If you have snow tires, or are considering snow tires, get things prepared now to ensure you’re ready to go when the snow flies.

Plan ahead

We’re all in a hurry, but beware of icy road conditions. Give yourself extra time to get to your destination, and don’t speed. A few extra minutes driving slow and safely can make all the different. And make sure you know where you’re going. Plan your route ahead of time.

For additional tips and ideas, check out the “Checklist and Tips for Safe Winter Driving” from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration:

And from all of us here at Horizon Family Medical Group, stay safe out there on our wintery roads.

Resources

  1. https://www.cdc.gov/features/winterweather/index.html
  2. https://www.nhtsa.gov/staticfiles/nti/pdf/WinterDrivingTips2012.pdf
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