The cool air of winter is now upon us and it is time to make sure we are all prepared for the season.
Most of us probably wish we could snuggle up by a fire with a good book but commutes and travel do not stop because the flurries begin to fall.
Do a routine winter check of your vehicle to ensure you are prepared for anything Mother Nature throws at you.
Check your vehicle's fluid levels and be sure to fill up with a de-icing windshield wiper fluid. Make sure your wipers do not streak and think about installing new winter blades.
It is important to test your vehicle's heater and defroster to make sure they are functioning properly. Your radio can also be a helpful tool if you need to receive weather and traffic reports.
Make sure all of your lights are working so you are visible to other drivers.
Check your tires to make sure they have enough tread and are inflated to the proper air pressure. Some people might want to install their snow tires or carry chains as a precaution.
It is also a good idea to prepare a winter emergency kit for your vehicle.
If you have to travel, it is a good idea to carry a cell phone and a charger.
Make sure you put the scraper back in your vehicle. Jumper cables could also get you out of a jam.
A kit containing a blanket, water, extra warm clothes, gloves, a small snow shovel, first aid supplies and a flashlight could certainly come in handy. Some sand, ashes or salt could be a great addition to your kit to put under the wheels for traction.
If you drive a rear wheel drive vehicle, it is a good idea to put a little extra weight in the back.
PennDOT recommends you keep your gas tank at least half full if you are forced to drive in winter weather. They also caution drivers to beware of black ice on roads looking wet. It is also important to use extra caution on bridges and ramps where ice can form without warning.
Never use cruise control in winter conditions.
Always use your seat belts.
If you do become stranded, it is better to stay with your vehicle until help arrives. Run the engine every hour for just long enough to take the chill out of the air while conserving gas. Make sure the tailpipe is clear to avoid a buildup of carbon monoxide.
Even if you are an experienced snow driver, not everyone else is. Always be careful and slow down.
Winter is a beautiful time of year but safety is important if you have to go out in it.
Be safe when the winter wonderland arrives and enjoy watching the snow accumulate on the trees. Make some tea or hot cocoa, play a game and stay in if you can.
If you have to go out, be prepared.
East Penn Press