With winter driving conditions on the horizon, now is a good time for motorists to begin working on getting vehicles ready for safe winter driving, says Lt. Ron Donnelly of the Reno Police Department’s Traffic Division.
Making sure defrosters, windshield wipers and brakes are in good working condition are key items to preparing for winter driving, Donnelly says, and now is also the time to make plans for putting tires rated for mud and snow conditions on vehicles.
“Winter is an especially dangerous time of the year on the road,” says Donnelly, “making it a priority to be sure your vehicle is in good working condition.”
Donnelly says vehicles in good working condition that are prepared for winter conditions will help motorists avoid travel problems and accidents during wet, snow and ice driving conditions.
Among the tips suggested by the Reno Police Department to get vehicles ready for winter driving conditions are:
1) Change wiper blades and fill windshield washer fluid reservoirs, and make sure you have an ice scraper in the vehicle at all times.
2) Make sure tires are mud and snow rated and have adequate tread.
3) Carry tire chains designed for the tires on your vehicle.
4) Have vehicle brakes inspected and repaired or replaced as recommended.
5) Check vehicle antifreeze protection. This may require having the radiator flushed and new antifreeze added to adequate protection levels following manufacturer’s recommendations.
6) Make sure the vehicle’s thermostat is in working condition, and that the heater and defroster systems are functioning properly.
7) Make sure the vehicle’s battery has adequate fluid levels, and replace batteries that are nearing the end of their life so they don’t fail during a snowstorm or when you really need your vehicle.
8) Check flashing hazard lights and headlights to make sure they are functioning properly.
9) When changing oil, follow the vehicle manufacturer’s recommendations for use of winter grade oil, if required.
“Making sure your vehicle in good operating condition is just one element in safe winter driving,” reminds Donnelly. “Wearing seatbelts, leaving early enough to give yourself plenty of time to get to your destination without hurrying, driving slow in rain, snow and ice conditions, paying attention to the road and other motorists, and leaving plenty of room for stopping, are among key points for safe driving.”