Drivers Reminded to Prepare Vehicle for Winter
For many area drivers, the early blast of winter weather came sooner than they would like. Now locals must quickly prepare their vehicle in case of an emergency situation.
IDOT put out a recommended winter emergency kit that includes:
- Jumper cables
- Windshield washer fluid
- Non-perishable food
- Traction material
- Cellphone & charger
- Ice scraper
- First aid kit
- Flash light
Director of Franklin County Emergency Management Ryan Buckingham says it’s just as important to know what to do if your car slides off the road or you’re in accident.
“Stay in the vehicle and call for help,” Buckingham explains. “Sometimes secondary accidents can happen, especially if there are a lot of drivers or on the interstate, so you have to be cautious of that to avoid injury or fatality.”
Drivers also need to make sure their cars are prepared for the colder temperatures and slick roads.
Car experts say, before driving, it’s best to let the vehicle warm up for a few minutes. The extra time allows for the oil to thin out and properly lubricate the motor and transmission.
While the car is warming up, avoid using the windshield wipers to brush off ice and snow. Turning the windshield wipers on can ruin the wiper mechanism, blades and scratch the windows.
However, the number one tip when it comes to car maintenance, is to pay attention to your surroundings.
“What’s really tricky with these all-wheel drive cars, four-wheel drive trucks, they give you a false sense of security because they do get around very well,” says Marion Collision Center Manger Shane Kelley. “They still don’t stop any better than a two-wheel drive or any other car.”
For those with weak batteries, it’s suggested to get them replaced since batteries tend to die more easily in the winter. Tire pressure also drops because of the colder temperatures, so it’s important to make sure yours are properly inflated.