Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Winter Driving

I hear that it's too late to get your car ready for winter before the first good snowfall. in McHenry County. I'm sitting here in Raleigh, N.C. where, when they get snow, the world stops. They do get snow, and ice, and the drivers here handle it differently than in Illinois.

It's not too late to get your car checked over. So many drivers today just turn the key and away they go. Check your tires for tread depth and uneven wear; remember to check the tire pressure. If you need new tires, get them. This simple, but not cheap, step might save you thousands of dollars in bent metal and bent neck.

Check the anti-freeze level, test the battery, replace the windshield wipers. Keep your gas tank full. Find the windshield washer reservoir with winter-grade fluid that won't freeze as quickly as the summer fluid.

Call your insurance agent and ask what happens to your insurance rates if you make a claim or two under your road service benefit. I was told this year that any claim (road service, minor windshield repair, etc.) counts against the insured on his policy. Even a dead-battery service call or flat-tire change might make it worth investigating AAA or AARP Motor Club Service or one of the other service plans.

Think ahead about what you'll do if you are involved in an accident or slide off the road. Planning ahead might make the difference between serious injury or death after you survive the crash. Stay out of the road. Stay out from behind cars. Usually it's safest to stay in the car until emergency response personnel are on the scene.

If you have any tips to share with drivers, post your comments and I'll add them below.

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