Winter is coming. The Lone Star State is known for its erratic weather changes, and this week was no exception. Texans got a taste of winter this week with a northern storm that brought snow to the panhandle and freeze warnings to the DFW. As you crank up the thermostat inside your home, it’s important to be aware of the hazardous effects taking toll on your vehicle as well. Help keep you and your loved ones safe by following these winter driving safety tips.
Check Your Tire Pressures
Tire pressure can be difficult to detect with a naked eye, so make sure to look out for your car’s pressure alert light. Cold air lowers tire pressure about a pound per square inch (p.s.i.) for every 10-degree change. This means that extreme dips in temperature overnight can leave your tires under-inflated for the morning commute and affect overall performance. Sometimes even a quick drive to the gas station could warm your tires enough to register a false positive. Refill air in your tires to make sure they are in top shape.
Be Ready for Battery Trouble
Car batteries suffer in both hot and cold extremes. When temperatures drop below freezing, battery life decreases by 20-35% according to AAA. This means it takes more battery power to run normally.
If your battery is more than 3 years old, or you experience any of the following symptoms, consider replacing your battery immediately:
- Clicking or popping noise upon starting ignition
- Headlights or interior lights dimming or surging when engine is revved
- Engine cranks slowly when attempting to start
Prepare for Freezing Weather Conditions
Even though snow is rarely seen in the majority of Texas, ice is fairly common in the winter months. Stock your car with ice scrapers for your windows. Consider keeping a snow shovel in your trunk as well. Cat litter can also be used to create traction on icy roads to get your vehicle moving again.
Winter Roadside Safety
- Accidents rarely come with a warning, so make sure you are always prepared for the worst. Headlamps are a great tool, allowing you to work hands free after dark regardless of lighting conditions.
- In the worst-case scenario that you find yourself stranded overnight or in a remote location, an LED emergency beacon or roadside flares will help alert other drivers of your location.
- Thin mylar emergency blankets are also useful, but insulated sleeping bags provide more coverage. Consider stocking up on both of these.
After more than 25 years representing personal injury victims in car and motorcycle accidents, the personal injury lawyers at Reyes Browne Reilley has seen the consequences of dangerous driving habits first-hand. If you have sustained injuries because of an accident, contact us for a free case review. Fill out our form online, or call (214) 526-7900 for your FREE consultation – we will get you on the road to recovery.