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Is Your Vehicle Ready for Cold Weather?

Posted On November 9, 2016 In Local Car Accidents

Is your vehicle ready for this winter?With temperatures still in the 70’s and 80’s, winter weather may not seem like a pressing concern. The bad news is that winter is coming, and with it, a higher probability of being involved in an auto accident. Officials at the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) are using the next few weeks to prepare for winter weather hazards. TxDOT has started servicing dump trucks, sanders and other de-icing vehicles in preparation for possible ice storms. Now that TxDOT is preparing, we should do the same. There is a lot you can do to prepare your vehicle for cold weather.

4 Ways to Prepare Your Vehicle for Cold Weather

  1. Check your brakes: Failing to check one of the most important pieces of equipment on your vehicle can prove fatal this time of year! Now is the time to check if your brake pads and fluid need to be replaced. Depending on your level of skill servicing vehicles, you may need to seek out an auto mechanic. It is possible to make simple mistakes while replacing and discarding brake fluid.
  2. Replace windshield wiper fluid: There are varying windshield wiper fluids for different seasons. Winter windshield wiper fluid uses alcohol or other deicing chemicals, making it less likely to freeze.
  3. Check your tires: Cold weather requires healthy tires. You can check your tread depth by using the quarter trick. Take a quarter, and stick it in the tread of your tires. If part of Washington’s head is covered, your tires may have enough tread depth. Check your tires for uneven wear and tear. Be sure to check your tire alignment and pressure. It is imperative to inspect several different aspects of your tires for winter weather, so this may be best left to a professional mechanic.
  4. Carry emergency supplies: You should prepare for the worst-case-scenario; your car breaking down on the side of the road. Carry a first aid kit, jackets, blankets and gloves in your trunk.

When Are Weather Conditions Unsafe for Driving?

Avoid driving during and after an ice storm. Do not risk it. Iced roads are too dangerous to drive on. Many businesses shut down during these conditions because it is unsafe for their employees to drive.

If for any reason you are forced to drive during freezing weather conditions, TxDOT has suggestions for improving your safety. TxDOT recommends driving at slower speeds. Keep in mind, speed limits are for normal road conditions. This means that driving at 70 miles per hour becomes dangerous as the weather gets colder. Sleet and ice can accumulate on bridges, elevated surfaces and shady areas. TxDOT also recommends to give other drivers three times the normal following distance in case you need to stop. If you receive a warning that roadways ahead are iced, pull over and wait for conditions to improve.

The Texas personal injury attorneys at Mike Love & Associates, LLC encourage you to adopt safe driving practices as winter weather approaches. Holiday weekends are notorious for auto accidents. Please be safe.

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