First-aid Safety in the Car for Contra Costa County Drivers
Basic Winter Safety Checks for Your Car
The cold weather is here, and winter weather makes for some very harsh driving conditions. When you’re out on the road, you need to protect yourself from the snow, ice, sleet, and blistery winds that could affect your car and your driving. During the next few months, many motorists will be driving from Concord to the snow in Tahoe. Now is the time to perform some basic winter safety checks on your car; don’t wait, or you may find yourself in a dangerous driving situation.
When snow and ice affect the roadways, you need to have sufficient treads on your tires to handle slick driving conditions. If the depth of your tire treads is less than 1/8 of an inch, you should replace your tires for optimal safety. The cold weather can also cause your tires to lose pressure, so make sure that your tires are properly inflated.
If you get caught in a snowstorm, your windshield wipers will help clear the snow and debris that will decrease visibility. If you need new wiper blades, the winter is the time to replace them.
Make sure you have the proper levels of fluids in your car, including motor oil, brake fluid, and transmission fluid. Check to ensure that the antifreeze in the radiator is full and half-mixed with water. Check you windshield wiper fluid, which will help keep your windshield clear (wiper fluid doesn’t freeze). You should always have a full tank of gasoline, too, so that you’re still able to run the heat if your car breaks down or you become stranded.
There are several emergency supplies that are good to keep in your car year-round, including an American Red Cross first-aid kit, jumper cables, flares or reflectors, bottled water, a flashlight with extra batteries, a charger for your cell phone, and a properly-inflated spare tire, jack, and tire wrench. Also, in case you run into an accident, it is a good idea to take an American Heart Association CPR & First-aid Class in Contra Costa County.
During the winter, there are several other items you should add to your trunk. You should have a windshield scraper, a small ice shovel, de-icer spray, sand or kitty litter to use for traction, tire chains, and enough blankets, hats, and gloves for each person travelling in your car.
If your car is due for maintenance, don’t delay in taking it to the shop. Staying up-to-date with your car’s service will keep your car in good shape, and the winter is the worst time to get stuck with a broken-down car.
Remember that no matter how thoroughly you’ve checked your car to prepare for winter driving conditions, the most important safety tip is to stay off the roads in bad weather. Careful, responsible driving is what will keep you and your family safe, and it’s better to stay home than take a driving risk.