In many areas of the U.S., freezing temperatures, icy roads, and stormy driving conditions are on their way. And while winter weather might be lovely to look at from inside a cozy house, it’s not much fun to drive in. Make sure your automobile is up to the challenge by getting it winter ready.

Here are our top 10 winter car safety tips:

  1. Get a tune up: Before the temperature drops, be sure to take care of the basics. Get your oil changed, fluids checked, and complete any minor repairs before they get worse.
  2. Assemble a safety kit: A good car safety kit will be priceless if your car breaks down or you find yourself stranded in winter weather. You can purchase a variety of ready-made kits online or at your local hardware store; or assemble your own with items like jumper cables, flares, water, blankets, a flashlight and non-perishable goodies like granola bars.
  3. Maintain your tires: Tire pressure often changes when the temperature drops. So when it does, make sure to get your tire pressure checked to ensure your safety on the road and extend the life of your tires. You should also make sure your tires are still in good shape, and replace them or switch to snow tires if necessary.
  4. Improve your driving skills: Many drivers never really learn how to navigate dicey driving situations. But knowing what to do when things go wrong could literally mean the difference between life and death. Find a winter driving workshop in your area or take an online tutorial to learn more about cold-weather driving skills.
  5. Test your battery: Have your battery professionally checked and replaced if necessary.
  6. Turn up the heat: Before winter settles in, be sure your heating system and defroster are working at peak performance.
  7. Change your windshield wipers: Being able to see properly is critical for safe winter driving. Replace cheap windshield wiper blades with the kind that will hold up in freezing temperatures, and be sure your wiper fluid is full.
  8. Prepare your driveway: Prevent accidents caused by falling equipment or a slick walkway by clearing your garage and driveway and getting them ready for regular use. Store your summer gear out of the way, clear away clutter, and place your shovels, salt and other snow and ice-clearing tools within easy reach.
  9. Maintain your brakes: You don’t want your brakes to be working poorly when you need them the most. Have them checked by a mechanic and replaced.
  10. Fix the windows: Driving with a cracked windshield or damaged mirror can be unsafe and reduce visibility. Repair any damage to your windshield, mirrors or windows and make sure they are kept clean and free of ice and snow for maximum visibility in difficult driving conditions.

For all of your auto insurance questions, call or contact Johnson Pohlmann Insurance today.