Here in the mid-west, we’re knee-deep into winter. In some parts, it’s already snowed and covered some major roads and highways. It’s important that we keep our vehicles in top-notch shape while we’re driving long distances or even just down the road.
Traveling already can be annoying and risky. Anything can happen, from road closings due to snow, ice, an accident, or any other obstacle. But you shouldn’t let this hinder your traveling, as long as you’re prepared.
Check out these tips to help you prepare for your next winter road trip!
Have your car examined before you leave.
The last thing you want to worry about is your car falling apart, leaving you stranded far away from home. Take it to your local auto shop for a quick once over, and make sure your tires are winter-ready and properly inflated.
Be prepared for a change in course.
Before you leave, get to know and become familiar with the route you’re taking. Many maps and GPS’s offer detour routes and even let you know if a road is closed, jammed up, or if a speed trap is coming up.
Stay hydrated for the journey.
It probably seems like dehydration isn’t very likely, but a recent Mayo Clinic study shows that a mere one- to two-percent loss of body weight can quickly lead to fatigue and decreased alertness, which could be deadly in icy winter driving. Also, your body requires more fuel in the cold. Pack yourself and your passengers high-energy foods such sandwiches, a thermos filled with soup, fruit, and water.
Pack a winter safety kit for the car.
Don’t leave without the essentials for a safe road trip – a cell phone, ice scraper; tow rope and jumper cables; sand or cat litter to aid with traction; blankets; flashlights, matches and emergency candles; first aid kit; portable radio; and a good book, in case you do get stuck.
Make frequent rest stops.
Winter driving is much more fatiguing than in the summer, so you’ll want to make time to stop and stretch your legs. Just a few minutes off the road will make all the difference in improving your alertness when you’re back behind the wheel.