When you think of California, you likely don’t think about a lot of winter weather. But if you say we are immune to winter weather, you’re fooling yourself. There are lots of areas, particularly upstate and in the inland empire that see their fair share of snow.
So, whether you live in those places or plan to visit them this winter, plan ahead. Driving in winter is hazardous, particularly for those who do not normally do it.
Preparation for Winter Driving
If you don’t usually drive in winter weather, make sure you’re ready if you’re going to an area where it is prevalent. Your car can be both your best friend and your worst enemy during winter travel.
- Before leaving, have the vehicle serviced. Change the oil, rotate the tires, and inspect the battery and engine. You want your vehicle to be in good working order on the road.
- Inspect the lights and wipers. These will prove invaluable during times of precipitation or low visibility.
- Make sure your tires have good tread and pressure. The more reliable your tires, the better they are able to grip the road. This will help protect stability and control when driving on wet or icy roads.
- Keep certain winter preparedness devices in your car. These might include ice scrapers, brooms, shovels, towels, de-icing fluid and other items. Some drivers also carry snow chains in their vehicles.
- Place a tool kit in the vehicle. Include a jack, jumper cables and various other items to help you make quick repairs if stranded in the car.
- Protect yourself in your vehicle. Having an emergency kit might help if you become stranded in winter conditions. Your kit should include:
- An extra layer of warm clothing.
- Non-perishable food. Invest in food that will help you maintain energy and stamina, like granola or protein bars.
- A supply of water
- Matches or a lighter
- Emergency flares
- First-aid items
- Backup batteries for your phone or other devices
- An extra set of car keys
- Keep verification of your auto insurance with you at all times. In case of an accident in the snow, you would likely need to contact your insurer immediately. Furthermore, if you have roadside assistance protection, your insurer might provide help if you have car trouble.
Always drive with extreme caution when you venture to the Snow Country. You should not speed, follow too closely to other cars, and keep a full gas tank. If you encounter problems, take time to contact emergency services and your insurer. They will help you get a grip on any resulting problems.
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