Are You Ready for Winter Travel?
Check Your Car:
- Fluid levels topped off.
- Enough anti-freeze in your radiator.
- Freeze preventive washing fluid in your windshield washer reservoir.
- Tires filled to the recommended pressure – go by what is printed on the door jamb of the driver’s door – not by what is printed on the tire itself. Also be sure to check the air pressure in your spare tire.
- Belts and hoses in good condition.
- Several automobile shops will perform these checks for free such as Les Schwab.
Things to Carry with You in the Car:
- Tire chains (watch a video on the internet about installing them before you leave).
- Blanket, food, and water for every person in the car.
- Any required medications.
- Warm clothes including gloves.
- First aid kit for you or another motorist involved in an accident.
- Cell phone and charging cable (keep your phone plugged into the USB port and charged while driving).
- A paper list of family & friends phone numbers (in case your phone dies).
- A good working flashlight and extra batteries.
- Proof of insurance.
- Vehicle emergency kit including flares/flashers.
- A bag of ice melt, sand, and/or chicken grit and a snow shovel (especially if you have a pickup or SUV).
Winter Driving Habits:
- If conditions are bad, consider staying home or stopping at a motel.
- Stop frequently for gas on long trips and don’t let your car get below half a tank.
- Make sure family and friends know your travel plans and check in with them on the drive.
- Keep in mind when driving on slick or snowy roads that acceleration and braking take longer.
- All wheel drive, four-wheel drive, and electronic stability control all work well, but you are still subject to the laws of physics. Don’t over-rely on these systems.
- Avoid making aggressive maneuvers and increase your following distance to the vehicle in front of you.
- If you do start to skid, don’t slam on the brakes. Steer in the direction of the skid.
- Slow down and drive safely.