Freeholder: Prepare your vehicle for the winter before the snow arrives

Snow Plow countyNow is the time to prepare your vehicle for the cold and snowy months ahead, said Ocean County Freeholder Joseph H. Vicari.

“Don’t wait for the snow to fall before ensuring your vehicle is safe and ready for the worst of the winter,” said Vicari, who is liaison to the Ocean County Department of Consumer Affairs.

First, make sure every vehicle is outfitted with ice scrapers to clear windows of snow and frost.

“Now is also the time to check tire pressure,” he said. “Having the proper pressure in all four tires can make the difference between stopping and sliding on slick winter roads.”

Also check windshield wiper fluid levels and wipers themselves.

“Every vehicle should also be equipped with a blanket in the event a car stalls on a rural road or during a major snowstorm,” he said. “It pays to be prepared for the worst.”

The Department of Consumer Affairs also offered the following tips from AAA:
•Keep your gas tank at least half full.
•Avoid using cruise control on wet or icy roads.
•If you become snowbound, stay with your vehicle.
•Tie a brightly colored cloth to the antenna or place a cloth at the top of a rolled up window to signal distress. At night, keep the dome light on if possible. It only uses a small amount of electricity and will make it easier for rescuers to find you.
•When driving on icy roads, accelerate and decelerate slowly.
•Slow down. Everything – including stopping and turning – takes longer on slick roads.
•The normal dry pavement following distance of three to four seconds should be increased to eight to ten seconds. This increased margin of safety will provide the longer distance needed if you have to stop.
•Don’t try to power up going uphill and don’t stop if you can possibly help it. It is very difficult to get moving again when trying to climb a snow and ice-covered hill.
•Vicari said the best advice for bad-weather driving may be to stay home.

“Unless you have somewhere you truly need to be, stay off the roads,” he said. “Even if you are the most skilled driver in the snow, that doesn’t mean other drivers on the road are equally skilled,” he said.


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