Winter driving better with preparation
Nobody wants to be stuck in a car that won’t start — or in a snowy ditch — during winter.
While possible snow showers this weekend have slipped out of the long-range forecast, it’s a reminder that a little preparation for winter driving will help you go far, not to mention keep you safe.
“It’s always better to try to do things sooner than later, before it’s too late,” Barry Allen, owner of Webster Auto Service in Marion, said. “A lot of shops get busy this time of year and it’s hard to get everybody in.”
Experts advise checking your car’s battery and antifreeze strength, and the condition of its belts and hoses to help the engine turn over in cold weather.
Good tire tread depth and properly inflated tires provide traction on wet or snowy roads, and brakes in good shape help avoid sliding around the roadway.
New wiper blades, a working defroster, and deicer formula wiper fluid make a clear view through the windshield.
A mechanic can help check the car before cold weather arrives.
Drivers who keep up on all maintenance usually do well in the winter.
Kansas Highway Patrol recommends drivers have a survival kit in their car in case they end up stranded.
The kit should include a first aid kit, extra blankets or clothing, flashlights, ice scraper and shovel, jumper cables, matches and candles or flares, non-perishable food, kitty litter or sand for traction, and a tow rope or chain.
KHP also recommends drivers allow extra time for delays and slower traffic speeds, wear their seat belts, secure children in safety seats, accelerate and brake gently, and increase the distance between your car and the one ahead.
If the car begins to slide, KHP recommends steering in the direction you want to go. A second skid in the opposite direction can happen as the car straightens out.
If you have an accident or become stranded, call 911 to summon assistance.
Last modified Oct. 25, 2017