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Get your car ready for winter.

Anyone who has driven in the snow knows, winter roads can be treacherous. Here are some safety tips From the Klest Injury Law Firm that could help you avoid injury and perhaps save your life.

• Be sure to get regular oil changes. It’s recommended that you change your car’s oil every 5000 miles or every 3 to 6 months. Changing your car’s oil is the most important thing you can do for your car’s maintenance. Oil becomes less effective as a lubricant over time, and this causes parts of the engine to wear out. Regular oil changes will also save you money in the long run by avoiding large mechanic bills later on.

• Check your windshield wiper blades. Drivers have the most trouble seeing the road in the winter months. Replacing your wiper blades before the first snow hits can save you the trouble of having to change them in the cold.
• Stock up on windshield washer fluid. Having washer fluid is just as important as having good wiper blades. One of the worst realizations for winter drivers comes when you press the washer fluid button and nothing happens. Being able to see the road ahead of you without obstruction is a crucial part of safe winter driving.

• Make sure your battery is up to the task. Car batteries can get corroded. A bad battery can leave you stranded out in a winter storm. Check to see if your car batter has clean connections and free of corrosion.
• Check your tire pressure. Proper tire pressure will give you proper traction. Low tire pressure, especially in the winter time can cause you to lose control of your vehicle. You may even consider getting snow tires before winter rolls in.

• 4 – wheel drive. 4 – wheel drive is great to have in the snow. If your car has this feature, it’s a good idea to make sure it’s working properly so you can take on winter snowfall with greater control.

• Have an emergency kit ready. If you do get stuck, it wouldn’t hurt to be prepared. Gather up a few things that could come in handy in a pickle. Here’s a list that is far from exhaustive:

• Blankets • Flashlight • Granola bars • Jumper cables • Flares • First aid kit • Bottled water • Ice scraper • Toll kit • Small shovel
If you do get stranded, don’t wander away from your car unless you know exactly how far you need to go to get help. If you have enough gas in the tank you can run the heat for 10 to 15 minutes per hour to stay warm. This list is by no means exhaustive. The point is that planning ahead can help you have a safe and enjoyable winter.

© Joseph G. Klest, 2011.

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