Freezing Conditions Driver Safety
The northern half of the United States regularly enters into weeks or months of deep freeze winter conditions. Low temperatures start to cover the northern states as early as November some years. We are located in Central Pennsylvania, and typically only have a couple of low-temperature weeks or months. During this chilly timeframe, we want to be prepared and wise with our vehicles. Extremely cold temperatures can affect your car, the road conditions, and your safety.
Driving Safety In The Extreme Cold
The best rule to keep when it is extremely cold and dangerous outside is to stay inside. Do not go out into the elements to risk the danger of freezing and frostbite. If you do go out, these are some precautions or actions you should take to ensure your safety on the road:
1. Dress Warm Before Driving In Freezing Temperatures
Before you leave your home you should always dress warm and appropriate for the cold outdoor temperatures. Are you may have a warm car you going to and a warm house or building you’re going to be entering, dress as if you are going to be outside for an extended period of time. If you get in an accident or your vehicle breaks down you could be in the extreme cold for a large amount of time.
2. Emergency Items To Keep In Your Vehicle During The Winter
There are a few items you can put in your vehicle to be prepared for the extreme cold temperatures. Have a blanket, tea candles and a lighter, road flares, jumper cables, along with the normal safety items you have in your vehicle. Keep an eye out for our future post about what you should have in your vehicle if you are driving in Pennsylvania’s snowstorms.
3. Be Aware Of Ice While Driving In Cold Conditions
With extremely low temperatures any liquid on the roadways will likely turn to ice. The salt and chemicals on the road might not be enough to melt the ice on the road depending on how cold the temperature gets. Being cautious and aware of wet spots on the road or in parking lots can help you avoid an unwanted car accident.
4. Warm Up Your Vehicle In The Winter
Starting your vehicle in the cold temperatures will help it acclimate two the cold and heat up the internal fluids. This can help prevent damages to your car, and make it function better on the road. It will also help defrost your windshield and make sure you are starting your journey in the cold temperatures with a warm vehicle.
Can The Extreme Cold Cause Damage To My Car?
The extreme cold can cause your car to exert itself more. Below is a list of problems and solutions on how a deep freeze can affect your vehicle:
- Dead Car Battery: As the temperatures get lower it can cause stress on your car battery. A cold vehicle battery can result in your car having a more difficult time starting. This is why it is always important to be prepared and traveling in extremely cold conditions. If your vehicle’s car battery is over 5 years, you should consider getting it replaced.
- Tire Pressure: When the temperature drops your tire pressure can go down. Make sure you keep an eye on your tire pressure and regularly check it before driving. Getting a flat tire in the extreme cold can expose you to the elements for a long amount of time.
- Frozen Fluids: If you do not appropriately manage your vehicle, certain fluids can freeze or become thick. This can result in worse gas mileage, fluid leaks, or a complete breakdown of your vehicle. Make sure you have the appropriate temperature anti-freeze. Check and change your oil and make sure your windshield wiper fluid is filled with the correct temperature fluid and not water. When pulling out of your parking spot, regularly check under your car for leaks. Warming up your vehicle before driving it can also help prevent or show leaks.
- Windshield Wiper Blades: After your car warms up and the melted frost slides down to the windshield wiper blades it has the potential of freezing over them. This can result in a hazardous driving condition when windshield wiper blades are not operating correctly. Not being able to see the road is an extreme hazard, especially in winter conditions. If you continually use your windshield wiper blades to scrape off ice and snow, you can damage the longevity of the wiper blades and they might break completely or fail to clean off the windshield.
Prepare Your Vehicle for Extreme Cold Temperatures
Making sure your vehicle is prepared for cold winter months only takes a little bit of time and simple maintenance and upkeep. Make sure you have all of the safety items mentioned above and regularly monitor your vehicle’s fluid levels and tire pressure. Be sure to ask your mechanic about your car battery if it is over five years old.
Contact Strickler Insurance For Pennsylvania Car Insurance
Strickland Insurance is located in Lebanon Pennsylvania. We have been providing car insurance since vehicles have existed. Contact us and we will try to get you the best car insurance we can provide. Drive safe this winter and stay warm!