Preparing Your Vehicle for Winter Weather
As winter descends on Maryland, drivers may be met with weather-related challenges. To safely navigate icy roads and unpredictable weather conditions, you’ll need to check that your car is up to date on maintenance. Be sure to inspect your car before winter hits:
- Check the condition of your car battery since the power can decline when the temperature cools.
- Check your coolant levels. Coolant in your car’s engine can freeze and cause it to seize.
- Fill the windshield washer reservoir with “no freeze” fluid.
- Check that your front and rear defrosters work and replace any worn-down windshield wipers.
- Check the air pressure and tread depth on your tires.
Going to the mechanic for a tune-up will ensure your vehicle is safe to drive during the winter season.
Emergency Supply Kit
An emergency supply kit can help save your life in a critical situation. Be sure to include seasonal items in your kit to help keep you safe and warm until help arrives.
Your winter emergency kit should include:
- Blankets and extra clothing
- Snow shovel or ice scraper
- Jumper cables
- Non-perishable food and water
- Kitty litter or sand (to provide traction on ice and snow)
The National Safety Council offers a full list of items to keep in the car in case of an emergency.
Driving in Winter Weather
Navigating the roads during the winter requires an attentive approach. It’s important to stay aware of the current weather conditions.
- Plan your driving route before you leave.
- Check the weather forecasts and road conditions before starting your journey.
- Remove all snow from your vehicle before driving.
- Reduce your speed to remain in control of your vehicle during hazardous road conditions.
- Increase your following distance to account for slippery roads.
- Avoid making sudden movements.
- Don’t use cruise control since it can cause you to lose control if your car skids.
The Maryland Department of Transportation State Highway Administration offers tips and current road information for drivers.
Staying informed and prepared will ensure your safety on the road during the winter.