Preparing your car and your driving skills for winter weather

RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — It’s good to know how to handle different slippery scenarios when driving in the winter months, but making sure your car is ready for winter is half the battle.

Jim Seay, owner of Automotive Concepts says, “Make sure you’ve got good wiper blades, front and back. And just check all your fluids and everything once a month.”

When it comes to winterizing your car by flushing out old anti-freeze, Seay says “I’m one of these firm believers that if the antifreeze is good and clean, I’d say leave it alone. There’s no need to mess with it.”

And probably the most important thing is to make sure that you have good tread on your tires. “Most of the people around here like to drive their tires down till they’re about bald, and then by that time it’s too late for when bad weather comes.” You want good, deep tire treads, especially in the winter.

Now that our car is ready, here are some driving tips. Keith Daniels, a Driver’s Training Instructor at Chesterfield County Public Schools says that 3 seconds a good following distance in regular driving conditions. “One thousand one, one thousand two, one thousand three. That looks like a lot… but it’s nothing in inclement weather. That’s why we said double it”

Distance and speed are the most important things to keep in mind to keep yourself out of an accident. But if you do find yourself starting to skid, Daniels says, “all you do is turn in the direction that you wanted to go in to begin with. Don’t steer sharply, just get it going back to where you wanted to go to begin with and straighten up.”

And worst case scenario, if you do get into an accident or are stuck on the side of the road, put flares or reflective triangles out if you have them. Daniels also tells us, turn on your emergency lights on and get out. Get as far away from the car as you can. Driving in inclement weather, people do make mistakes.”

And the biggest tip that he has for driving in winter weather? “Don’t. Put a fire in the fireplace, get yourself a bowl of fruit loops, watch Channel 8.”

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