The winter months in Maine can be tough. Driving in snow, sleet, freezing rain and ice becomes something of the norm. These conditions increase risk of fatal car crashes by 34 percent.
It usually takes a few storms before you can comfortably get your bearings back when on the road. Why not take a look at these winter driving tips published by Maine DOT to be reminded that often “the best defense is a good offense.”
In addition, make certain your car is winterized and equipped with a winter roadside survival kit, both can ensure your safety. Start with a tune-up if your car hasn’t had one recently. Listed below are tips for preparing your car for winter. Also listed are items to have in an emergency kit stowed in your car.
- Test your battery; battery power drops as the temperature drops
- Have jumper cables in your car
- Make sure the cooling system is in good working order
- Have winter tires with a deeper, more flexible tread put on your car
- If using all-season tires, check the tread on your tires and replace if less than 2/32 of an inch
- Check the tire pressure; tire pressure drops as the temperature drops
- Check your wiper blades and replace if needed
- Add wiper fluid rated for -30 degrees
- Keep your gas tank at least half full to avoid gas line freeze
- Check to make sure you have a properly inflated spare tire, wheel wrench and tripod-type jack
- Now is the time to make sure you have an ice scraper and/or snow brush in the car
- Battery backup for your phone
- Working flashlight and extra batteries
- Stow a bag with an old winter coat, boots, and warm blanket/sleeping bag in your car
- First aid kit
- Include: compass, scissors, string/cord, wooden matches in a waterproof container
- Bag of salt or cat litter
- Tow and tire chains
- Reflective triangles and brightly-colored cloth
- Exterior windshield cleaner
- Non-perishable, high-energy foods like unsalted canned nuts, dried fruits, and hard candy
A quick internet search will provide links to pre-assembled emergency supply kits that you can purchase, if you prefer to go this route.
At Cheney Insurance we care about you and your loved ones. Drive safe this winter!