Winter Driving Checklists: Be Prepared and Arrive Safely

Did you know that the leading cause of deaths during winter storms are transportation accidents? Preparing your vehicle for the winter season and knowing how to react if stranded or lost on the road are the keys to safe winter driving.

Before a winter storm, make sure you have a mechanic check the following items on your car:

  • Battery
  • Antifreeze
  • Wipers and windshield washer fluid
  • Ignition system
  • Thermostat
  • Lights
  • Flashing hazard lights
  • Exhaust system
  • Heater Brakes
  • Defroster
  • Oil level

You also want to make sure you tires have adequate tread. All weather tires are usually adequate for most winter conditions. However, some state jurisdictions require that to drive on their roads, vehicles must be equipped with chains or snow tires with studs. You may also take note of a few of these helpful tips:

  • Keep a windshield scraper and small broom for ice and snow removal
  • Maintain at least a half tank of gas during the winter season
  • Listen to the radio or call the state highway patrol for the latest road conditions. Always travel during daylight and, if possible, take at least one other person
  • If you must go out during a winter storm, use public transportation
  • Always dress warmly but wear layers of loose fitting, layered, lightweight clothing
  • Store a supply of high energy “munchies” and several bottles of water

Another couple things you should keep in mind when traveling long distance in the winter months is to make sure you car is stocked with a few essential items that will help you in case a problem arises. Here are some suggestions:

  • Flashlights with extra batteries
  • First aid kit with pocket knife
  • Necessary medications
  • Several blankets
  • Sleeping bags
  • Extra newspapers for insulation
  • Plastic bags
  • Matches
  • Extra set of mittens, socks, and a wool cap
  • Rain gear and extra clothes
  • Small shovel
  • Small tools (pliers, wrench, screwdriver)
  • Booster cables
  • Set of tire chains or traction mats
  • Cards, games, and puzzles
  • Brightly colored cloth to use as a flag
  • Canned fruit and nuts
  • Non-electric can opener
  • Bottled water

 Stay safe and warm this winter!

Article Source: NJ State Police

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