Now that we are back on the mainland and living in a place with actual seasons, keeping our car road ready and safe is a top priority of ours. Hubs hasn’t spent a lot of time in “winter weather” and it has been quite a while since I have driven on wet, icy, or snowy roads. I thought I would share my top five ways to stay safe on the road this season. Driving a car with four little ones can be hectic enough without having to worry about the safety of your vehicle. Steel is important for vehicle safety , steel frames and steel-side impact beams are 2 of the 3 top choices for consumers safety picks. The following are some tips that you can do this winter season to stay safe on the road.
1. Give Your Car a Checkup
Before the weather turns, schedule your car to get a service checkup. One of our vehicles has never been off Hawaii and probably has not been winterized. Giving it a checkup means that you will be able to make sure you’re ready for everything that comes your way. A few things to look out for – does the antifreeze need to be topped off? Do you have a cold weather battery? Does the defroster work properly? No one wants to wake up in the morning only to find that their car won’t start or the defroster is broken. That is not the way to start a Monday. You should also make sure to check the tire pressure, change out the windshield wiper blades, and top off the wiper fluid. If your last oil change was a while ago, consider getting that changed as well. You may need to switch to a less viscous oil, so be sure to ask your mechanic. And make sure your heater works! No one wants to be cold in their car.
2. Get an Emergency Kit
Growing up, my family always had emergency supplies in the car. With my mom growing up in Wyoming, she knew the key things to keep close. We had a different type of emergency kit in our car in Hawaii and so we need to update it to make it work for Colorado. These items can be kept in a box in the trunk and should be replenished should you use any of them. Since we have kids, our kit includes additional items such as a change of clothes per kid, diapers and wipes, as well as snacks and drinks (just make sure to keep the drinks separate and in a plastic baggie in case they freeze). I recommend everyone keep blankets, flares, winter boots, battery operated radio, a phone charger, flashlight, oil, washer fluid, and coolant. No one expects to get stuck in a snow bank or on the highway during heavy snow, so keeping this kit in your car will make the unexpected easier to handle.
3. Update Your First Aid Kit
I always try to keep a first aid kit in the car and throughout the summer, it tends to get used. Taking the time to open it up and update what’s inside will make your life easier in the event of an emergency. Basic things to keep are: bandages of all shapes and sizes, antiseptic wipes or cream, gauze and tape, a splint or two, pain killers for adults and children, and ice packs. In the fall and winter, I like to add those pocket hand warmers, lip balm, lotion (hello dry winter skin!), and an umbrella. You never know when you might need these items, and having them is always better than needing them.
4. Get Your Tires Checked
One of the most important things to get checked, before the temperatures drop and the roads get slick, is your tires. When was the last time you had them rotated? Or pumped up? Do they need air? Maybe it’s time to get all new tires. Tires are the shoes of your car. Keeping them in tip top shape and long lasting is key to staying safe this holiday season.
5. Clean Your Car Regularly
During the holiday season, there’s usually winter weather and that means that the roads are going to be salted. While salt on the road does keep you safe as you drive, it can turn your car into a huge mess. Inside and out. Just because it’s cold outside, now is not the time slack on the car detailing. The salt will make your car and tires dirty and clogged up and keeping them clean and free of debris is important for maintaining road safety. Also, be sure to clean the inside too. Between the fallen leaves being crunched into the floor and muddy boots being kicked around, this season is full of potential stains. I also like to clean our kids’ car seats and reconnect them to the car to make sure they are nice and tight. Remember that kids are safer in their seats without puffy coats on, so keeping the car clean is important since your kids will be tossing coats around as they get in and out of their seats.
So there you have it, these are my five tips for staying safe on the road this holiday season. What tips would you include to stay safe?
This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Steel Market Development Institute. The opinions and text are all mine.