As Mother Nature unleashes her wintry fury on Northeast Ohio, there’s a few things you need to keep in mind before getting behind the wheel.
The first step is to take a moment to clear all the snow and ice off your vehicle instead of trying to drive with only half of your windshield clear.
Here are other suggestions from AAA:
1. Make sure the battery and charging system are in good condition. Cold weather places high demands on vehicle electrical systems.
2. Have the brakes inspected, and check that they apply smoothly and evenly to help prevent wheels from locking when the roads get slippery.
3. Ensure proper tire inflation. The air pressure in tires will drop 1-2 psi for every 10 degrees drop in outside temperature. Under-inflation can reduce traction and damage tires.
4. Choose narrow tires over wide tires for best snow traction. Wide tires “float” on top of snow, while narrow tires cut through it for better traction.
5. Make sure the engine coolant provides adequate anti-freeze protection. A 50/50 mixture of antifreeze and water provides protection to -30 degrees Fahrenheit (-34 degrees Celsius).
6. Visibility is very important in adverse weather conditions. Replace wipers that streak the windshield, and consider using winter wiper blades that have rubber covers to prevent snow and ice buildup from impairing effectiveness. Fill the windshield washer reservoir with an antifreeze washer solvent.
7. Keep the gas tank at least half full at all times to minimize condensation that can lead to gas line freeze-up.
8. Carry a winter driving kit for use in the event of an emergency. The kit should include tire chains (if legal in the area driven), a small bag of abrasive material (sand, salt, cat litter), a small snow shovel, a snow brush, traction mats, a flashlight with new batteries, window washing solvent, an ice scraper, a cloth or roll of paper towels, jumper cables, a blanket, warning devices (flares or triangles), a charged cellular phone, drinking water, a pair of gloves and extra clothes.