Let’s face it—winter has come in full force. Ever since the cold streak in November, the attorneys at Finney Law Office, LLC have been preparing themselves for a long winter. Firewood is stored in the garage, hats and mittens are abundant in our houses, and our cars are prepped for winter.
One of the most vital ways to prep for winter is to winterize your car, yet many St. Louis residents forget to do so. If your car ever breaks down, gets stuck, or you get in an accident, it is important that you are prepared. During the harsh winter (and especially around the holidays), road conditions are less stable and more troubling instances are likely to happen. This is also when help takes the longest—tow trucks, police, and AAA are the busiest during these times, and they may not be able to get to you right away.
If you haven’t winterized your car yet, it is important that you start right away. Imagine driving to your family’s house in the winter, and you hit black ice. In the blink of an eye, your car is swerving and stuck on the side of the road, and your family in the back seat is scared, restless, and cold. Prepping your car for the winter can eliminate some of the stress and leave you feeling prepared for the worst.
Our car accident attorneys suggest that you winterize your car from the outside in. There are many ways to ensure your car is ready for any winter stor; our car attorney ideas have thought of seven major things you should do to prepare for a white winter:
Many of us have been stuck with by a dead battery, having to call a friend for a jump. Being late or caught in the winter weather is not your ideal way to start or end the day. Even if you have recently replaced your car battery, check to see that all the terminals and connections are properly fitting. Look for rips or cracks in your cables, and see if it’s time to replace an old battery.
- Engine Oil
It is important that you are using the right engine oil for the seasons. During winter, it is best to have thinner, less viscous oil. Look through your vehicle’s owner’s manual to determine which is best for your car.
- Engine Coolant
Surprisingly, it is easier for your car to overheat during the winter. If your coolant is low, your engine will overwork itself and the freezing temperatures will not act as a coolant. In addition, coolant protects again corrosion, which can lead to bigger problems. Check your manual to see which water/coolant ratio is best for your car, and check back on it periodically throughout the cold months.
- Anti-Freeze Windshield Wiper Fluid
This is a necessity during all four seasons, but it is especially appreciated in the winter. Old salt and slush from the roads can decrease your visibility (in addition to snow fall) and the fluid can melt the ice and eliminate any streaks.
Your anti-freeze fluid will not work properly without winter wipers. Winter wipers can prevent the heavy ice and snow from blocking your visibility. Even though the wipers can look chunky in comparison to original wipers, you’ll thank yourself for buying them in a winter storm.
If you buy new wiper blades or continue to use the ones you have, we suggest cleaning them every once and a while for optimum use. Use alcohol wipes on the rubber of the blades so the salt, dirt, and grunge can disappear. This will leave you with a nice, clean windshield during those snowy days.
- New Tires
In 2013, St. Louis got a little over 30 inches of snow. While other cities like Omaha, Cleveland, and Syracuse are getting plenty more snow than us, all-season or snow tires may be a good idea for your vehicle.
All-season tires may be applicable for St. Louis County because we typically only get a few inches of snow at a time. Yet all-season tires do not offer the specialized amenities that snow tires provide. Snow tires are best for residents that live in more suburban or rural areas that are not as accessible or plowed by the city.
During ice, sleet, or snowstorms, having proper tires on your vehicle may be a determining factor on whether or not you get in an accident. With the unpredictability winter weather, the car accident attorneys at Finney Law Office, LLC always think it’s better to be prepared.
While this all sounds like a lot to do for the winter, it is crucial to stay on top of your vehicle services. Be sure to check your car and your children’s, especially if they are away in college. They will likely never think to check things like their coolant or wiper fluid.
- Emergency Kit
It is essential that an emergency kit is placed in all of your cars. Even if you prep your car for the harshest of winters, it won’t protect you when negligent or ill prepared drivers are on the road. It is many family’s nightmares to be stuck on the road during a cold winter’s day.
Here are common items to place in an emergency kit:
- Blankets: You never want you or your family to be cold after an accident.
- Gloves: Gloves can be helpful if you have to change a tire or check on something outside
- Spare cash: Spare cash can help you if you need to buy more gas or pay a friendly neighbor for coming to your aid.
- Flashlight: Flashlights are essential for determining what the problem is, to bring notice to you and your vehicle, and to provide light in the dark.
- Duct tape: Duct tape can be used for a variety of things—you never know when you’ll need it.
- Water bottles: Water or sports drinks are always a viable necessity.
- Trail mix or non-perishable snacks:You never know how long you’ll have to wait for help. Keep trail mix or granola bars in your cars.
- Cards/magazine: Keeping your family calmer under pressure is sometimes impossible, but a deck of cards or magazines may help keep them busy.
- Engine oil or washer fluid: Sometimes all you’ll need is a quick refill on one of you vehicle fluids. If you know your car runs out of something quickly, keep extra fluids in your trunk for emergencies.
- Safety flares: If you drive on less-trodden roads for the holidays, this may be something that you want to invest in. Safety flares allow tow trucks and emergency vehicles to find you easily, and brings awareness to other drivers that may pass by.
- Jumper cables: We are always appreciative of those St. Louis neighbors that keep jumper cables in their car. These can be helpful for you or other St. Louis residents that get stuck.
Preparing for winter takes time and effort, but it is worth it when your family is safe. Even so, if you are involved in an accident in St. Louis County, know that the car accident attorneys at Finney Law Office, LLC are always ready to help during your time of need.
We hope you all have a safe and warm holiday and winter season.