While the amount of danger from winter weather varies across the country, nearly all Americans, regardless of where they live, are likely to face some type of severe winter weather at some point in their lives. Winter storms can range from a moderate snow over a few hours to a blizzard with blinding, wind-driven snow that lasts for several days. Many winter storms are accompanied by dangerously low temperatures and sometimes by strong winds, ice, sleet and freezing rain.
A primary concern during winter storms and extreme cold is commuting safely. Most businesses, events and activities will only close down during the worst storms or extreme temperatures during winter. Because of this, it’s important that vehicles are properly prepared for winter conditions to make commuting in these conditions as safe as possible.
Check or have a mechanic check the following items on your car:
- Antifreeze levels—ensure they are sufficient to avoid freezing.
- Battery and ignition system should be in top condition, and battery terminals should be clean.
- Brakes—check for wear and fluid levels.
- Exhaust system—check for leaks and crimped pipes, and repair or replace as necessary. Carbon monoxide is deadly and usually gives no warning.
- Fuel and air filters—replace filters and keep water out of the system by using additives and maintaining a full tank of gas. A full tank will keep the fuel line from freezing.
- Heater and defroster—ensure they work properly.
- Lights and flashing hazard lights—check for serviceability.
- Oil—check for level and weight. Heavier oils congeal at low temperatures and do not lubricate as well.
- Thermostat—ensure it works properly.
- Windshield wiper equipment—repair any problems and maintain proper washer fluid level.
- Install good winter tires—make sure the tires have adequate tread. All-weather radials are usually adequate for most winter conditions. However, some jurisdictions require that to drive on their roads, vehicles must be equipped with chains or snow tires with studs.
Contact Carriage Trade Insurance to learn more about our Auto Insurance Coverage