How to Stay Safe on the Road During Inclement Weather

Inclement weather in New Jersey can range from a rapidly moving squall to major snowstorms. While you might not be able to do much about the weather, you do have control over how you drive and take care of your vehicle. Use these tips to stay safe on the road no matter what Mother Nature throws your way.

Maintain the Brakes

Quality brakes make a difference for being able to stop properly in slick conditions. Unfortunately, winter weather can contribute to brake problems by causing corrosion. Watch for signs that your brakes are having issues such as making squealing or grinding sounds, or vibrations when you try to stop. If you suspect an issue is developing, then search for a brake service near me so that they are repaired or replaced before the next storm.

Keep the Tires in Good Condition

In addition to the brakes, your tires play a role in helping you maintain control of the vehicle on slick roads. Choose tires that are designed for the driving conditions. In some cases, it may be necessary to switch to all-season or snow tires if you live in an area that gets hit with freezing precipitation. Then, have the tires inspected, aligned, and rotated at your nearby auto service center.

Choose the Safest Route

Today, drivers benefit from GPS technology that allows you to check for alternate routes during times of inclement weather. Always check the weather and traffic reports before you head out for a drive. Then, assess your current route, and check for alternatives if your intended path contains hazardous conditions. Not only does this save you time, but you may also avoid potential accidents.

Take It Slow

After years of driving in bad weather, it is easy to get overly confident about your skills. However, even racecar drivers know to slow down when the road conditions become dangerous. Always follow the recommended speed limit in good weather, and be prepared to slow down by as much as half in icy conditions. In some cases, you may need to reduce the speed even more if you find that visibility is hindered by falling precipitation.

Leave Space Between Vehicles

On a slick road, your car will require more time to stop, even when the brakes are in good condition. Therefore, you will want to leave more room than usual between you and the car in front of you. This also protects you from having an accident if the driver in front stops suddenly. Remember that you should never slam on the brakes in ice or snow. Instead, gently apply pressure, and try to brake long before you actually need to stop.

Carry an Emergency Kit

At times, you may still find it necessary to call for a tow if you get stuck in snow or someone else hits your car. When this happens, it helps to have supplies on hand to keep you safe during an emergency. Keep an emergency kit in your car with things such as a raincoat to keep you dry in bad weather. Then, check to make sure your kit has safety supplies such as flares to increase your visibility.

When you can’t stay home, knowing how to stay safe on the road in inclement weather is critical. By caring for your car and adjusting your driving habits, you can look forward to arriving at your destination safely.

What Everyone Should Have in Their Winter Car Kits

New Jersey is known for its frigid winter weather that can quickly turn a minor car problem into an emergency situation. For this reason, we always recommend that every driver have a winter kit stored in their car that has everything needed to handle an unexpected event on the road. As you prepare to drive through the snow this season, use this guide to make sure your kit is fully stocked with winter gear.

A Small Shovel

Few things are worse than getting stuck in the snow, but this is possible if you swerve to avoid an accident or misjudge the lack of traction on a road. Your car kit should have a small shovel; you can easily find compact ones that fit in the back of any car. If you get stuck in a drift, simply use the shovel to dig the snow away from the tires so that you have a path allowing the tires to grip the pavement.

Traction Materials

In some instances, you might need to do more than just dig your way out, and this commonly occurs when your tires hit ice. Keep some type of material in your car that you can use to create more traction. A bag of sand, kitty litter, or small pebbles are all great materials that can be used to create traction.

Jumper Cables

When you take your car in for a complete oil change and tune up, be sure to ask our technicians about the condition of your car’s battery. During the winter, fluctuating temperatures can cause the battery fluid to get low enough that it no longer works properly. Once you know your car battery is in good condition, be sure to throw some jumper cables in the kit just in case you or someone else leaves the lights on.

Tire Changing Equipment

A flat tire is unsafe to drive on in any weather, but it is especially dangerous to try to maneuver your vehicle on slick roads with a bad tire. Make sure that your kit is equipped with a jack, wrench, and a strong set of gloves to keep your hands warm as you work. If there’s space, a portable air compressor is another item to add to your kit that can get you to safety if one of your tires gets low.

Warm Clothing and a Blanket

You should also be prepared to stay safe if you must wait on the side of the road for a member of our car repair company to come help. Add a warm coat, gloves, and hat to the kit for each member of your family, and consider adding snow boots and a waterproof jacket in case you must be outside in winter weather for any length of time.

Winter weather creates serious hazards on the road, and plummeting temperatures can escalate minor car problems, such as a cracked hose, into serious issues. Make it a habit to check your winter kit periodically to replace any items that are needed, and you will always be prepared to handle any roads