Be Prepared for Winter Driving

Mother Nature has been giving us a break~ so far. Don’t let the unseasonable temperatures fool you. Now is the time to prepare for winter driving. Here are a few things to get you started.

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goHunterdon’s free Traffic Alert Service (TAS) provides weekday alerts on traffic congestion, traffic accidents, construction closures & detours, weather related travel conditions, and other relevant travel information to commuters traveling to or through Hunterdon County, NJ. Alerts are available via email during peak commute hours, 6:00 a.m. – 8:00 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. – 5:30 p.m. You select the Hunterdon roadways that you wish to monitor. Tractor trailer crash on Interstate 78? Tree down on Milford-Warren Glen Road? Icy conditions on Route 22? No problem! We’ll let you know so that you change your plans or detour accordingly.

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Assemble A Winter Driving Kit
A winter car emergency kit is a must for every driver even if you are driving short distances. Winter weather could leave you unexpectedly stranded in your vehicle. Taking the time to assemble a well-stocked emergency kit now may help you get back on the road or at least make time waiting for assistance safer and more comfortable.

Here is what you should include in your Winter Driving Kit.

An Ounce of Prevention: Prepare Your Vehicle for Winter Driving

Ben Franklin famously said “An ounce of prevention is worth more than a pound of cure”. There are a few things you can do to get your car ready for the impending winter season.

Check your tire tread…Inspect your tires for tread wear and rotate them during every oil change. To check your tire’s tread, use the “Penny Test”. Take a penny and place it in the tread groove of your tire. Place the penny with Lincoln’s head facing you, and stick the penny in the tread so that the top of Lincoln’s head is no longer visible. If his entire head is visible while in the groove, it’s time to replace your tires.

Fill up your tires. Low air pressure in your tires can be potentially dangerous on winter roads. Take your car to a mechanic to check your tire pressure and fill your tires if necessary. Or, you can easily do it yourself at a free tire air pump found at your local gas station or car shop.

Consider snow tires. Switching to snow tires can help if you anticipate driving on snowy, slippery unpaved roads. Note, however, that snow tires make your MPG (miles per gallon) lower, so only put on snow tires during harsh winter months.

Change your oil and antifreeze. Regular maintenance to your vehicle help to prevent any car troubles during months involving winter driving.

Inspect your battery. Your vehicle’s battery capacity lessens in cold weather. Be sure your car is prepared for the winter and have a professional inspect your battery’s fluid and cables.

Maintain Windshield Wipers and Washer Fluid Level. Make sure that your windshield wipers are in good condition and maintain washer fluid levels. Consider switching to a de-icing windshield washer formula for the winter months.