How to Prepare Your Car for Winter Weather

Posted on January 23, 2014 at 10:23am by

Answers from an Atlantic City Accident Lawyer

Winter weather can present a variety of hazards for drivers and their vehicles, from sub-freezing temperatures to snow, sleet and ice. According to National Highway Traffic Safety Administration data, 39 percent of weather-related car accidents involve snow, sleet, ice or slush. In addition to creating hazardous road conditions itself, this type of weather can also cause drivers to become hazards to their fellow motorists if they do not know how to drive carefully in winter weather conditions. Drivers also pose a threat if they have not properly prepared their vehicle for the season. Here are a few ways to keep you and your family safe out on the roads this winter.

What You Need to Do to Make Your Car Winter Weather Ready

During winter, you should keep the following items in your vehicle:

  • Bag of salt to melt ice around your tires if your vehicle becomes stuck
  • Bag of sand or cat litter to provide traction if your vehicle becomes stuck
  • Tire chains
  • Tow chains
  • Properly inflated spare tire, wheel wrench and jack
  • Shovel
  • Compass
  • Tool kit
  • Flashlight and extra batteries
  • Exterior windshield cleaner, ice scraper and snow brush;
  • Non-perishable, high-energy foods such as dried fruits, unsalted canned nuts and hard candy
  • First aid kit
  • Wooden stick matches in a waterproof container
  • Scissors and string/cord
  • Extra clothes, including pants, shirts, coats, socks, gloves or mittens and hats
  • Blanket and/or sleeping bag
  • Cones, warning triangles or emergency flares

After you have gathered all of the necessary items to keep in your vehicle, you should winterize your automobile, which includes getting a tune-up and/or the following:

  • Checking the anti-freeze levels and the freeze line
  • Inspecting the distributor
  • Checking the battery
  • Changing and adjusting the spark plugs
  • Checking the tires for air, sidewall wear and tread depth
  • Checking the brakes, wiring, ignition, fan belts and hoses
  • Checking the positive crankcase ventilation (PCV) valve and fuel, emissions and air filters

New Jersey Counties with the Highest Fatal Crash Rates

In addition to preparing your vehicle and yourself for traveling in winter weather, you should also drive with caution in counties that have high fatal car crash rates. In New Jersey, the counties with the highest numbers of fatal car accidents in 2012 were:

  1. Middlesex with 54 deaths
  2. Ocean with 49 deaths
  3. Burlington with 48 deaths
  4. Essex with 38 deaths
  5. Monmouth with 34 deaths

If you have suffered catastrophic injuries or lost a loved one due to a car accident, an Atlantic City accident attorney can help you explore your full rights and options for action under the law. Call our office today for assistance.