Five Top Tips for Safe Winter Driving

Winter driving can be hazardous. Drive carefully and make sure you have an auto mechanic at a Madison auto repair shop check out your car.

Winter’s here and so are tricky driving conditions. AAA notes that, according to the Federal Highway Administration, 24 percent of weather-related vehicle crashes each year happen on snowy, slushy or icy pavement and 15 percent happen during snowfall or sleet. And a recent AAA pulse survey notes that 47 percent of drivers worry about skidding or losing control of their vehicle while driving in winter weather.

“The safest place to be during adverse weather conditions is indoors and that’s not always possible,” said Montrae Waiters, AAA spokeswoman. “It is imperative that motorists prepare their vehicles before winter conditions hit.”

That’s true whether you’re sticking around Madison or going farther afield, like this weekend’s snowmobile drag races in Curtiss. (Seriously, who WANTS to stay inside when you can be outside racing snowmobiles?) AAA has some tips designed to keep you safe on winter roads.

The top five:

  • Plan ahead.
  • Pay attention while driving (no texting, answering cell phone calls, or putting on lipstick, mascara or lip balm).
  • Take time to get your car ready for winter driving conditions. This includes checking the battery and charging system; hoses; tire pressure; tire condition and type (snow tires can be helpful); air filter; coolant level; and washer fluid.
  • Remember that trucks are heavier than cars. This means a truck will take a longer time to stop. So, if you’re driving a truck, take that into account. If you’re driving a car, don’t dart in front of a truck.
  • Pack an emergency road kit that has a charged cell phone, a car charger, blankets, food, water, medication, ice scraper, flashlight, hats, gloves and kitty litter or sand.

Terry’s Car Care can help you keep your car in top shape to handle winter driving conditions. Bring it by our shop and have our ASE-certified auto mechanics give it a once over to make sure all your hoses, systems, brakes and tires are in good shape. If they’re not, we can easily fix any problems. Terry’s has been the trusted Madison auto repair and new tire sales shop for more than 46 years. We’re conveniently located in Madison’s isthmus.

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