Are You Ready For the Winter Season?

Lawndale News Chicago's Bilingual Newspaper - Business

By: Ashmar Mandou

We may not want to admit it, but the winter season is here and with it comes heavy snows, hazardous ice, and unpredictable situations. It is for these reasons, State Farm Agent Elvia Torres urges Lawndale News readers to prepare themselves for unforeseen circumstances on the road. “When we step foot into our car we never think something bad will happen, like get a flat tire,” said Torres. “We just assume we will have a smooth ride home, but with winter here we just never know what will happen on the road.” With Thanksgiving occurring Thursday many cars will be on the road heading from one household to another, Torres advises drivers keep practical items in their car in case of an emergency. According to a study conducted by State Farm, approximately 73 percent of Latino drivers say they have non-emergency items cluttering their trunks. State Farm has compiled a list of essential roadside items that drivers should always have in their car. “Here at State Farm it is our job to make every driver’s journey safe,” said Torres.

Follow Winter Driving Recommendations

Winter driving has its own set of challenges, from the moment you start up your vehicle. Here are some useful winter driving suggestions:

  • Never warm up your vehicle in a closed garage.
  • Keep your gas tank at least half full to prevent gas line freeze-up.
  • Make sure your exhaust pipe is not clogged with mud or snow.
  • Don’t use cruise control on icy roads.
  • Allow more time for braking when visibility is poor.
  • Stay calm if you start to skid.

Prepare Your Vehicle for Winter

The best time to get ready for winter is before the first storm of the season. Some items to check include:

  • Hoses and fan belts
  • Spark plugs
  • Antifreeze and windshield wiper fluid levels
  • Battery strength
  • Tire pressure and tread life
  • Air, fuel, and emission filters
  • Spare tire and jack

Carry Emergency Supplies

In addition to the just-in-case items you should always have in your vehicle, such as jumper cables (and learn how to jump-start your car safely,) tire-changing tools, flashlight, and first aid kit, be sure to include these winter essentials:

  • Small folding shovel
  • Tow and tire chains
  • Basic tool kit
  • Bag of road salt or cat litter
  • Windshield wiper fluid
  • Antifreeze
  • Warning flares

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