News & Events

Date and Time of Release: 28 November 2012

Date and Time of Incident:

Subject: Winter Vehicle Preparedness

With several winter storms upon us, it’s time to inspect your vehicle and make sure it’s ready for the harsh winter driving ahead. Winter in the Mother Lode brings special seasonal challenges to the roadways. Storms can make navigating roads extremely hazards and sometimes deadly.

Winter driving in the Mother Lode can mean wet, icy, snowy, and other hazardous roadway conditions. Some of the things you should check on your vehicle are;

• Make sure you have the manufactured recommend amount of antifreeze in your radiator for our climate

• Check and replace your vehicles battery if it’s old

• Remember to keep your fuel tank full or near full at all times

• Check your windshield wipers and replace them if worn

• Check and make sure your heater and defroster are working properly

• Check your tires and make sure they are properly inflated and in good condition

• If you have studded tires, have the studs installed by your tire service provider

You should also make sure your vehicle contains the following emergency supplies to help you get through the winter or assist you if you should become stranded for an extended period of time;

• At least one bag of sand, road salt or cat litter. The bags weight will help with traction and the contents can be used under slipping tires to help them gain traction

• A good ice scrapper or a liquid de-icing product for your windows

• Small shovel to dig snow away from tires, and to scatter the sand, road salt or cat litter under your tires

• Tire chains (It’s very important that the drive knows how to put the chains on, and should practice doing so before they are needed.) Also, you should know if your vehicle is a front or rear wheel drive vehicle when installing tire chains

• Blanket, jacket, hat, gloves and water proof shoes or boots

• Nonperishable food items, a gallon of water and a first aid kit

• A flashlight with extra batteries, a charged cell phone, and cash

You should include emergency food and clothing for each traveler who is traveling with you. Remember, slow down! Wet and icy weather/conditions greatly increases the stopping distance of your vehicle, even if you have an all wheel or four wheel drive vehicle.

You also need to drive more defensively in these hazardous conditions. Often, other people don’t slow down. Then unfortunately, you become a victim of their carelessness when they slide out of control and into your vehicle.

Remember, drive safe and drive defensively!