Winter Driving Safety Tips

With the freezing weather conditions right around the corner, the time to prepare is now. Here are a few tips to help you keep you and your vehicle safe:

  • Dress in warm layers. It is very important to keep warm and dry when working outdoors.
  • Check your tire pressure. A change in weather means a change in pressure. Adjust tire pressure to the recommended pounds per square inch (PSI) indicated on the sticker inside the driver’s door of your vehicle or in the owner’s manual.
  • Keep your gas tank full. This keeps condensation from building up and freezing fuel lines. Also, this reduces the likelihood that you will run out of gas in bad weather.
  • Be sure all fluid levels are at their proper level. Coolant should be strong enough to prevent freezing and fresh enough to prevent rust and corrosion.
  • Change your wiper blades if they’re more than nine months old.
  • Don’t use your emergency brake, if possible, in severe cold. The cable can freeze.
  • Turn your windshield wipers to the “park” position before turning your car off. You can burn up the wiper motor if the blades are frozen on the windshield when you turn them on.
  • Clean windows thoroughly before driving.
  • Warm your vehicle up for at least a minute before driving. In cold weather, your oil runs thicker and needs more time to reach all lubrication points. However, do not warm it up in a garage or other enclosed space and make sure that the tailpipe isn’t clogged with snow to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning.
  • Use your headlights when it’s raining or snowing, so that other vehicles will be able to see you. NOTE: Maryland traffic laws require all drivers to turn on their headlights whenever they are using their windshield wipers.