New England winters are notorious for heavy amounts of snow, sleet and freezing rain, as well as sudden shifts in weather. It may have seemed like a relatively calm winter day when you left for work. When you head home in the afternoon, you might end up facing blizzard-like conditions that make driving a dangerous endeavor.
You don’t want to have to worry about whether your vehicle is ready to handle inclement New York winter weather. As the fall begins to turn to winter, it is the perfect time to begin to prepare yourself and your vehicle for safe driving in the colder weather. A little extra effort now can ensure you’re ready when the snow arrives.
A pre-winter tune-up and maintenance check is a good idea
Before you begin to worry about how your vehicle will handle winter road conditions, make sure that it is safe to drive. When the weather starts to turn cold, you should schedule an appointment with a trusted mechanic for an annual inspection. Ensuring that everything from your transmission to your brakes is in working order will reduce the potential of a mechanical issue contributing to a crash.
Once you know your vehicle is safe to drive, consider making changes such as new wiper blades to keep snow and ice off your windshield and new tires to ensure better traction on frozen, slippery streets. Knowing that your vehicle is well-maintained and ready to handle icy and snowy streets will help make you a more confident driver.
Proactive safety practices can reduce your risk of a crash
Proper vehicle maintenance is not your only concern when the snow starts falling. You should remind yourself of winter driving best practices, which differ substantially from how you drive in the warmer months.
These include reducing your overall speed when visibility is low or roads are slick and giving yourself more space to brake before you need to stop at an intersection.
You may also want to leave a larger amount of space between yourself and the vehicle in front of you on the road. Planning to leave a little earlier each day for your commute ensures you have time to travel slowly and safely to work.
Falling ice and snow, as well as harsh winds, are not the only concerns on the winter roadways. Cold weather can impact the performance of your vehicle by killing your battery.
There are also issues like black ice accumulation on the street. Winter driving is necessary, but be sure that you are engaging in best safety practices before you head out on to the snowy roads.