Well my friends, it’s officially Fall. The leaves are falling, you never know if it’s going to be 12 or 68 degrees outside and the snow has started to fall. It seems like winter might come a tad early this year and I just want you all to be prepared. If you’re used to driving in winter conditions, then consider this a fun refresher. If you’re not used to driving in winter conditions… then boy have I got some tips for you. Buckle up friends, this blog is going to be a bit long. But trust me, it’s important stuff to know!
- Get your car serviced!
- I’m starting with what most of us who live where snow and ice are commonplace consider to be common sense. But, for those of you who are used to warmer winters, having your car break down in -0 degree temperatures isn’t just a mild inconvenience. Negative temperatures and snow/ice storms in Nebraska can be harsh and dangerous. Making sure your car is in working order and can get you to where you’re going could save you a few toes and your loved ones a lot of worry.
- Get your tires checked!
- The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration recommends getting new tires every six years, regardless how many miles you’ve put on them. Now, that’s not always possible but before the snow and ice hit us, it would be a good idea to check and make sure your tires aren’t going to be a liability this winter. Don’t forget, there’s always the option of getting some winter/snow tires! Seriously, don’t drive on tires in winter conditions if they can’t handle it. Donuts are only fun if you do them on purpose.
- Stock your vehicle!
- During the winter it’s always a good idea to have some supplies in your car in case of emergencies. While tips 1 and 2 will hopefully keep you from being stuck on the side of the road, you just never know what’s going to happen.
- During the winter I never allow my gas tank to sink below half a tank. The car doesn’t run without it. More importantly, neither does the heater.
- Make sure to keep ice scrapers and shovels, as well as jumper cables, a flashlight, emergency markers and kit… you know, in case of emergency. Might be a good idea to toss a first aid kit in there as well. Somehow, I always manage to cut myself on ice when I’m scraping it off my windshield.
- Having some sand or kitty litter in your trunk will make it a lot easier to get yourself out if you find yourself stuck.
- Keep spare blankets, gloves, hats, coats, etc. in your trunk or something. You’ll thank yourself if you’re stranded in the negative digits. I also like to keep a few packs of handwarmers around, just in case! I’m a wimp when it comes to the cold.
- Finally, keep some water and snacks around for emergencies… or munchies!
- As a bonus, not a necessity, I recommend keeping something to entertain yourself. A book, game, crossword puzzle, some knitting or something that doesn’t need electricity. Sitting in a freezing car can get boring.
- Plan for bad weather!
- Check www.511.nebraska.gov/ before you do anything! If it’s going to blizzard, you probably want to know that.
- Know how to get where you are going… you do know how to read a map, right? GPS doesn’t always work in snow.
- Drive slowly! Ice tends to be… well icy. Leave yourself plenty of time to get where you’re going. Remember, if you’re driving fast on ice and snow, you’re putting more than just yourself in danger.
- Know what to do in an emergency… which I will go over in my next post! Remember guys, drive safe out there!