Tips to stay safe as you drive home

Wednesday December 16, 2015Michael Barone

As you prepare to hit the road for a few well-deserved weeks off, take a few minutes to get your vehicle ready for the winter weather.

  • Everything starts with your tires. Having proper air pressure is essential in the cold and snow.  Under-inflated tires also lead to poor gas mileage. Also, if you don’t have snow tires, at least make sure the tire tread is in good shape. Insert a quarter upside down into a groove. If you can see anything above George Washington’s wig... it’s time for new tires.
  • Make sure you can see! Snow on the road means sludge on your windshield. Replace your wiper blades if they streak, and keep your windshield washer tank filled and an extra gallon in your trunk.
    • Don’t rush off without cleaning your windows completely free of snow and ice.  Keep a snow brush with a strong ice scraper in your car until you’re sure the snow is gone for good in the spring.
  • Be ready in case you get stranded.  Keep a blanket, flashlight, hand warmers and jumper cables in the car. Make sure your cell phone is fully charged -- and keep a charger with you too.  Always bring a hat, gloves and boots, in case you’re exposed to or required to walk in the cold.
  • In cold temperatures, make sure your battery is relatively new and charged, and have at least a 1/2 of a tank of gas to minimize condensation that can freeze your gas line. Add a can of dry gas to your tank – especially if you don’t have an attached garage.  And monitor your anti freeze.  Keep the reservoir filled and some extra in the trunk.
  • And the bottom line – don’t risk it!  If the weather is awful and first responders are encouraging you not to drive unless it’s an emergency – don’t!  Make sure we all get to see you again next semester.

Be smart and stay safe.  Happy holidays!

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