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Tips for Safe Winter Driving

Winter weather can be unpredictable and just because Georgia is in the south, doesn’t mean that we are immune from snow and icy roads. When temperatures drop and the Georgia weather quickly changes, Atlanta road conditions become hazardous – FAST!  Here are some tips that you can take in order to be safe and survive winter weather driving.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) states that too many drivers are unprepared. It is never safe to get on the road, no matter the distance, if your car hasn’t been recently serviced. The NHTSA suggests that having any tune-ups and repairs done will lower your chance of being stuck on the side of the road in cold weather conditions. Additionally, don’t ever neglect your tires.  Car tires need to have enough tread to withstand the winter conditions.

A major item to check-off your list before driving during the winter are recalls. Unfortunately, many consumers neglect to ever check if their vehicle has been recalled for some malfunction or defect; unless it becomes major national news. Checking to see if your specific vehicle has any “open recalls” on it is easy and quick. Just visit https://vinrcl.safercar.gov/vin/ to see if your vehicle is safe to drive so that you don’t have any surprises while driving.

Once you have had your vehicle inspected by a mechanic and insure that there are no open recalls, it is important to actually know how your car handles winter conditions. The NHTSA suggests practicing (if you can) how your vehicle handles snow, ice and wet conditions. For those of us in Georgia, we tend to forget the dangers that a little bit of ice and snow can pose if we don’t know how to properly operate our vehicle. If you do decide to change your tires for the winter, make sure that your new tires are properly installed in the fall before the snow and ice hit. To check out some winter tires and their ratings, you can visit safecar.gov and look for the snowflake symbol.

Last but not least, when was the last time you checked your car’s battery? Did you know that when the temperature drops, so does the power in your car battery?  For those driving gasoline or diesel engines, it takes significantly more power to start your vehicle in cold weather. For those driving an electric or hybrid vehicle, the ability to drive longer distances is reduced due to the battery being cold. Thousands of drivers will be stranded in parking lots or on the interstate this winter because they did not check their battery.  If your vehicle is slow to start, the battery may be the culprit.  Have your battery tested before taking any road trips or in anticipation of wintery weather.

Winter weather can be wearing on us and our vehicles; be sure to keep warm and take care of your vehicle before it is too late. To find information on road conditions, click on the following link https://dps.georgia.gov/road-conditions so that you and your family are prepared for the road ahead!

For more information about this article, contact Kaine Law.

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