Winter is right around the corner, and with it comes snowy and icy weather. To keep you and your loved ones safe on the road, Meyers & Flowers has assembled some tips to consider before and during your travels to and from your destinations on wintry roads. Before you head out over the river and through the woods, be sure to Keep Up, Stock Up, Gas Up, and Look Up.
- Keep up with vehicle maintenance
Visit your trusted car mechanic for an all-points inspection to know the overall health of your vehicle. Some important items to include on your inspection checklist:
- Tire wear
- Braking system
- Head and brake lights
- Heater air flow throughout the vehicle
- Windshield wiper fluid specific for cold weather
- Windshield wiper performance
Also remember to keep up on all necessary repairs and recalls prior to driving in the ice and snow.
- Stock up on emergency essentials
Before leaving the house in the wintry weather, consider stocking up on safety and emergency essentials in case weather conditions leave you stranded or otherwise unable to safely reach your destination. Some important items to have in your vehicle with you might include:
- First aid kit
- Winter wear such as jackets, scarves, hats, socks, gloves, and boots
- Slow-to-perish food items and utensils
- Hand and foot warmers
- Quality scraper/windshield brush
- Jumper cables
- Electronics charger
- Necessary medications
You can assort these items in a duffel bag or small box to keep within reach in case of an emergency.
- Gas up your car
During the winter months, avoid traveling with less than a half tank of gas. Ice and snow can make it difficult for emergency services to reach you if you run out of gas on the side of the road. Additionally, according to the National Safety Council, maintaining at least a half tank of gas may help avoid gas line freezes.
- Look up and around at your surroundings
The winter months call for extra alertness while driving. Be sure to frequently scan your surroundings in search of potential hazards such as snowplows, visibility issues, and other drivers – especially drivers coming from out-of-town who may not be used to the road layout, traffic patterns, or weather. Before you leave home, don’t forget to remove snow, ice, or slush from your rear-view cameras and side mirrors. Lastly, while we recommend avoiding risky behaviors such as texting or drinking and driving year-round, it is especially important to avoid these behaviors on the road in the winter for the safety of yourself, your passengers, and other drivers.
When in doubt, wait it out. Don’t compromise on safety in order to make it to a holiday gathering or party. Make safety and alertness your first priority when traveling.
If you happen to find yourself in a traffic accident this winter, call Meyers & Flowers at 630-576-9696 for your free, no obligation case evaluation. Safe travels, and Happy Holidays from all of us at Meyers & Flowers!
We’d like to offer a special thanks to National Safety Council and National Highway Traffic Safety Administration for some of the tips in this article.