Winter is approaching, and snowfall and frigid temperatures will be frequent visitors to Ohio. While you may be able to avoid being outdoors for more than a few minutes at a time, you likely cannot avoid driving. You have to get to and from work, drop off and pick up the kids from school, and stick to your normal routine no matter what Mother Nature throws your way. However, safely driving through winter takes preparation and care. It is best to winterize your vehicle now to avoid an accident.
If you are involved in a crash this winter, contact the Ohio car accident lawyers at Kisling, Nestico & Redick at 1-800-HURT-NOW.
How to Winterize Your Vehicle
You can take steps to avoid a weather-related car accident. By winterizing your vehicle, you can be ready for dangerous weather that is common throughout the winter. Take the following steps:
- Check your windshield wipers. If you have noticed your wipers are streaky and do not improve after being wiped down, it is time for a new pair. Your local auto store can help you find the correct size for your specific vehicle and replace them. Once you have new wipers, treat them with care. If you expect ice, pull the wipers up and away from your windshield when you are not driving. Avoid running them over an icy windshield without using a scraper first.
- Purchase a good scraper. As a Midwesterner, you know the pain of having to clean the ice and snow off your car in the morning. The only way to do this quickly and efficiently is with a good scraper. You should have both a smaller hand scraper for your mirrors and passenger windows and one that extends your reach for your front and back shields.
- Inspect your tire tread. New tires come with a certain depth of tread that wears down overtime. If your tread is too low, you tire will not grip the road as well. To determine if you have adequate tread, use the penny test. Put a penny with Lincoln’s head facing down in a groove on your tire. If you can see the top of Lincoln’s head, you need to replace your tires.
- Check your tire pressure. You will want to consistently check the air pressure in your tires throughout the winter. The correct pressure for your tires will be located on the inner portion of your car door or in the owner’s manual. If you are not sure how to check your tire pressure, purchase a gauge from your local auto store and ask an attendant for help.
- Consider chains or snow tires. Ohio allows tire chains or studs at certain times. Unless you drive a public safety or school bus, you can only use chains or studs between November 1 and April 1. These can be particularly helpful if you know you will get a lot of snowfall or ice and the roads will not be cleared quickly.
- Refill the fluids. Your vehicle runs smoothly because of fluids like antifreeze, oil, and wiper fluid. If you are a beginner with cars, it may be best to have a mechanic give the car a look over and refill all of the fluids. A good mechanic can also recommend an oil that is safe and efficient for freezing temperatures during the winter.
- Survey the battery. Look over your battery to see if there are any cracks or loose connections. This is something a mechanic can do for you quickly. Also, consider the age of your battery. Most car batteries last up to 5 years. If yours is in its fifth year or older, be cautious and consider a replacement.
- Test the heater. It will be very uncomfortable to drive around during winter if your heater does not work. If you have not switched on the heat yet, give it a try soon so you can have it fixed before the truly low temperatures arrive. Your heat is also important to defrost your windshield before you drive.
- Check your lights. Visibility is crucial during winter snow storms. You need all of your lights in proper working order so that you can see and others can see you. Have a friend stand outside your car as you test your front lights, brights, brake lights, and turn signals. Have any lights that are out fixed immediately.
- Build an emergency kit. It is always better to be safe than sorry. You should pack a safety kit in your car that includes a flashlight, an extra set of batteries, road flares, a candle, a pack of matches, a first aid kit, water, non-perishable snacks, a blanket, hat and gloves, jumper cables, a small shovel, bag of sand or kitty litter, as well as extra oil, antifreeze, and wiper fluid. You should also make sure you are equipped to change a flat tire. It is better to keep these items in the backseat where you can reach them easily during an emergency rather than in the trunk, unless you can reach the truck from inside the car.
Contact Kisling, Nestico & Redick if You Were in an Accident
If you were in a winter-related collision, you should seek legal advice from an experienced Ohio car accident lawyer at Kisling, Nestico & Redick. With years of car accident experience under our belts, we are prepared to represent you following a crash. We can help you handle your insurance claims and financially recover when another party was responsible for your injuries. Call us today at 1-800-HURT-NOW or contact us online to schedule a free case evaluation.