Winter Driving Preparation

Winter Driving Preparation

Remember the saying, “You don’t know what you’ve got ‘til it’s gone?” This is really the case.

Driving in the winter means snow, sleet, and ice that can lead to slower traffic, hazardous road conditions, hot tempers and unforeseen dangers.

To help you make it safely through winter, here are some suggestions from the National Safety Council to make sure that you and your vehicle are prepared.


At any temperature—20 degrees Fahrenheit below zero or 90 degrees Fahrenheit above—weather affects road and driving conditions and can pose serious problems. It is important to listen to forecasts on radio, TV, cable weather channel, or forecasts in the daily papers.

Your Car

Prepare your car for winter. Start with a checkup that includes:

  • Checking the ignition, brakes, wiring, hoses and fan belts.
  • Changing and adjusting the spark plugs.
  • Checking the air, fuel and emission filters, and the PCV valve.
  • Inspecting the distributor.
  • Checking the battery.
  • Checking the tires for air, sidewall wear and tread depth.
  • Checking antifreeze level and the freeze line.

Your car should have a tune‐up (check the owner’s manual for the recommended interval) to ensure better gas mileage, quicker starts and faster response on pick‐up and passing power.

Necessary Equipment

An emergency situation on the road can arise at any time and you must be prepared. Following the tune‐up, a full tank of gas, and fresh anti‐freeze, your trunk should carry:

  • A properly inflated spare tire, wheel wrench and tripod‐type jack
  • A shovel
  • Jumper cables
  • Tow strap and tire chains
  • Bag of salt or cat litter
  • Tool kit

Essential Supplies

Be prepared with a “survival kit” that should always remain in the car. Replenish after use. Essential supplies include:

  • Working flashlight and extra batteries
  • Reflective triangles and brightly‐colored cloth
  • Compass
  • First aid kit
  • Exterior windshield cleaner
  • Ice scraper and snow brush
  • Wooden stick matches in a waterproof container
  • Scissors and string/cord
  • Non‐perishable, high energy foods like unsalted canned nuts, dried fruits, and hard candy