Charleston’s relatively mild winters do not mean that you should not prepare your car before you head out to drive during the winter months. In fact, taking the right steps to prepare your vehicle for winter weather can help reduce your odds of getting into an accident in Charleston, SC.
Follow these steps to prepare your vehicle this winter.
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Before Each Trip
It may not get very cold here during the day, but when the sun goes down, so does the temperature. With this drop, any condensation can turn into frost on your windshield, obstructing your vision. Whatever you do, make sure you don’t try to defrost your windshield with your wiper blades. This can damage your blades, making it dangerous for you to drive next time it rains. Roll out of bed a little earlier on winter mornings to give yourself more time to scrape off any frost on your windshield and windows. You may also want to:
- Start your car to give it time to warm up before you head out.
- Check the weather: although this is rare in Charleston, if you’re expecting icy roads or black ice over bridges, know that you may need to slow down.
A little early preparation can make your drive less stressful and easier to manage.
Pack Your Vehicle
No, you aren’t heading out for an Arctic expedition, but you do want to make sure you have the right items on hand in your car in case you do experience mechanical trouble while you’re out on the road. Make sure that you have:
- An extra pair of gloves
- A flashlight with fresh batteries
- Roadside flashers or reflectors
- Jumper cables
- A blanket
- An ice scraper
These simple items can help ensure that you’re better prepared for any emergency you might face while you’re out on the road. Even if they don’t leave your car all winter, it’s better to have them and not need them than to need them and not have them on hand!
Prep Under the Hood
Even in milder climates, it’s important to be sure that you properly prep your car for the winter months. Step one: making sure your battery has an adequate charge. A drop in temperature over night can cause your battery to lose its charge. You can get it tested to make sure it’s up for the winter weather at your local auto shop. You should also:
- Check the oil. A drop in temperature can affect your oil supply. Your local auto shop can suggest an oil that works better in winter months.
- Check your tire pressure. The smallest fluctuation in temperature can cause your tires to lose their pressure, making your drive more dangerous.
- Make sure you keep your gas tank full throughout the winter months. Letting your gas level drop below even a half tank of gas in winter months can wreak havoc on your vehicle’s system.
A little maintenance early in the season can help keep your vehicle running smoothly and you safe throughout the winter.
Pay Attention on the Road
As you hit the road, you should take several steps to minimize risks and keep yourself as
safe as possible.
- Check your tires’ treads.
- Keep up with tire pressure.
- Allow more following room in slick conditions, including rain.
- Leave the heat off while the engine warms up to conserve gas.
- Scrape off frost with a scraper, not your windshield wipers, to avoid damage.
Always allow adequate time to reach your destination when driving during winter, and pay attention to other drivers around you. Remember, you cannot count on someone else to be the one to exercise caution.
Miller, Dawson, Sigal & Ward Injury Attorneys is Here to Help
Did you suffer injuries in a winter driving car accident due to another driver’s reckless behavior? We can help you seek compensation for your losses. Contact The Thumbs Up Guys today for a free case review.