Six Things to Check Before Driving in Snowy Weather

Posted on 14 January 2019 by Tony Santos

Driving in snowy weather can be dangerous, but sometimes you can’t avoid it. But before you get onto the road, there are a few things that you should check out. Doing so will help to keep you safe while you’re on the road, largely by ensuring that your car is in good enough shape for the drive. So, if there’s snow falling outside, here are six things you should check before you get into your car.

The Forecast

First, you should check the weather. While it might be snowing now, that doesn’t mean it will continue while you’re on the road. By checking the weather, you may find that it’s supposed to clear up in an hour, in which case it would be safer to wait. On the other hand, you may find that the light flurries outside are about to turn into a bad snowstorm, so you’re better off not going out at all. Knowing the weather can help you to make a better decision about whether you should go out at all, so do a quick check before you go.

The Windshield Wipers

If you do decide to go out, you’ll want to quickly inspect your car before you go. Start with the windshield wipers. Make sure there is no damage to the blades, and that they are able to fully clear your window. Nothing is worse than driving along in a snowstorm when suddenly your wipers break down. If you spot any signs of damage, don’t risk it, and get them replaced before you drive anywhere.

The Tires

Next, look at the tires. Bald tires have a hard time gripping the road, and this is even more true when there is snow on the ground. Worn tires happen to everyone, so it’s important that you check them regularly, but especially before driving in bad weather. According to this Hutchinson KS tire dealer, “If your tires are worn, you’ll notice a change in ride, handling and performance. There are many factors that can cause tire wear, such as your driving style and tire maintenance habits. Tire replacement is absolutely needed when the tread wear indicators appear. Built-in tread wear indicators look like narrow strips of smooth rubber across the tread and become visible as the tire surface wears.”

The Braking System

It’s one thing if your car won’t start in the snow – it’s another if it won’t stop. Brakes are always important, but they get used a lot more during snowy weather. If you’ve been having some trouble with your brakes lately, don’t test them out during a snowstorm. And if you’re unsure, take your car for a slow spin around the block before taking it on the highway. Test your brakes a few times and ensure that your car can stop before going at higher speeds.

The Heat

The last major component of your car that you’ll want to check is the heat. You never know what can happen on the road, and you may end up stuck in your car for a while. If you don’t have good heat in your car, this can quickly become a nightmare. While you may think it’s fine for a short trip if your heat doesn’t work, short trips can turn into long ones during snowy weather. Don’t pull out of the driveway until you’re sure the heat is working, and if it isn’t, consider packing some extra blankets or clothing just in case.

Your Cell Phone

Finally, you’ll want to check your cell phone before you go. Don’t leave the house in a snowstorm with your battery almost dead. Emergencies happen all the time during snowstorms, and a cell phone is essential. If you don’t have time to charge it in the home, then at least have a car charger with you to charge it while you drive. When something goes wrong, you’ll be glad you took the time to give yourself full battery.

Take Snowy Weather Seriously

You may look at the snow outside and think it’s not that big of a deal. But those white flakes can cause a lot of problems, especially if you don’t take precautions before you go. So the next time it’s snowing out and you have some place to be, take a few moments to ensure your car is in good condition, and that you’re prepared for any emergency. It only takes a couple of minutes, but it could save you from a lot of headaches down the road.

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