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Winter is a magical season full of gifts and festivities, but it is also the time of year when roadways are packed with holiday travelers and slick with rain, snow and ice. Taking the time to prepare yourself for winter driving is the simplest way to avoid and prepare for emergency situations.
Basic emergency supplies are a must-have throughout the year, but are especially important when temperatures are cold. Add blankets to your emergency supplies, and carry a fully charged mobile phone in your car at all times. You can contact emergency services with any mobile phone. Add water, food, and clothing for each member of the family, along with a basic tool set and a first aid kit. If you have a baby in the family, make sure to include formula, bottles and diapers in your emergency supplies. Add a small shovel to your supplies so you can remove snow easily.
Basic car maintenance can keep your car running smoothly throughout the winter. Change the oil and check the tires for signs of wear, and replace any tires that seem worn or look damaged. Snow tires are also an option if you live in an area that is covered in snow during winter. Add antifreeze to your vehicle before the temperatures drop below freezing, and check the battery for signs of wear. Now is also a good time to replace your radiator. Some companies, like Natrad, know that your radiator is an important part of the cooling and heating system, and therefore vital to staying warm during cold weather commutes. If you use snow chains or other winter weather gear, place them in the vehicle for easy access.
Driving in winter weather is much different than driving during summer. For instance, drivers should double the four second rule when driving on wet roads, and everyone should slow down considerably when snow or ice is present. Remember to leave early in rainy or snowy weather so you have plenty of time to slow down. If necessary, arrive late rather than rushing on busy, wet or slick roads.
Make a list of what to do in an emergency situation, and leave it in your vehicle. For instance, you should stay inside the vehicle with a light turned on so you are easily visible to emergency response teams. With the right preparation and some basic know-how, you can be prepared for any winter driving emergency.