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Winter Travel Safety

Before you drive your vehicle during the winter conditions adopt some activities to help ensure safe arrival whether it be to work, school activities, or to see family.

  • Prepare your vehicle for the winter weather: 
  • Charge up!  Be certain you have a good battery.  During very cold weather your battery loses some of its potential energy.  You may need to slow charge your battery to keep it in good condition.  Click on the link for more information on charging vehicle batteries:
  •  Place jumper cables in your vehicle.
  • Check your anti-freeze temperature range.  You can do this at home or at your mechanics shop.  Consider your winter temperatures and make sure your antifreeze mixture is appropriate.
  • Tires.  Check for a spare tire and for the equipment needed for it.  Check to ensure your tires have enough tread to get you through the winter weather.  Click on this link for simple ways to assess your tires:

  • Weather check. Check to see if the predicted weather during your travel time will be safe.  If unsafe either stay home or change your travel times to avoid the unsafe travel conditions.
  • Seeing clearly.  Good windshield wipers are important to clear your windshield so you can see through the rain and snow.  Have a sturdy snow and ice scraper.  Clear all windows of snow and ice so you can see.  Make sure all your vehicle lights and blinkers work properly.  Fill the washer fluid reservoir with winter grade fluid (so it doesn’t freeze up).  If you are driving during a blizzard and cannot see the road consider pulling off the road with your hazard lights on until you are able to see well enough to safely drive.
  • While you are outside clearing the ice and snow, warm up your vehicle with the “defrost” on.  If your car has a separate A/C button, turn it on when defrosting; even with the temperature set to hot, the air conditioner dehumidifies the air which speeds defogging

Travel kit

Suggestions for items to place in your vehicle for winter travel include the following:

  1. Shovel
  2. Tow chain
  3. Flash light with extra batteries.
  4. Reflective triangles or flares.
  5. A bag of sand, salt, or kitty litter (to help provide traction or melt snow).
  6. Cold weather clothing (coats, hats, mittens, and socks) and blankets.
  7. Non-perishable food such as trail mix, nuts, dried fruits, and even candy.
  8. If you travel during bad weather consider taking your daily medication with you.