Winter in the Carolinas is expected to be colder and wetter than recent years. Colder temperatures and icy conditions create a potentially dangerous situation on the road and in your home. Below are some tips for safe driving and keeping your home safe this winter.
5 Tips for Safe Winter Driving
1. Clean Off Your Car. Remove snow and ice from headlights, tail lights, windows, mirrors and your vehicle’s roof to make sure you can see and be seen.
2. Slow Down. Posted speed limits are made for ideal road and weather conditions, not snow or ice. While driving on snow and ice, take it easy during starts, stops and turns and avoid hard acceleration and braking. High speeds and jerky movements could send your vehicle into a skid or spin.
3. Give Yourself Space. When roads are slick, stay eight to ten seconds behind the vehicle ahead of you – give yourself enough time and space to stop. At zero degrees Fahrenheit, a car needs twice as much distance to stop as it does at 32 degrees Fahrenheit.
4. Don’t Be Overly Confident. Four-wheel drive may help you get out of a snowy driveway, but it won’t help you stop on icy roads any better.
5. Be Prepared. Check headlights, battery, brakes, tires, windshield and windshield wipers to make sure they work properly and keep a full tank of gas to keep the fuel line from freezing. Visit your local AAA Car Care center for battery and tire pressure checks. To prepare for winter emergencies, travel with a winter kit that includes: shovel, blankets, flashlights, gloves, ice scraper, jumper cables, snacks and water.
5 Tips for Keeping Your Home Safe During Winter
1. Thermostat Settings. Keeping your thermostat at the same temperature both day and night could potentially prevent a more costly repair job due to frozen pipes. This also helps to reduce the stress on your HVAC unit when it is attempting to catch up to a higher temperature, rather than staying at a consistent temperature.
2. Preventing Frozen Pipes. Low outside temperatures can cause pipes to burst. If the temps are expected to drop below freezing, let the cold water drip from the faucet – just a trickle helps prevent pipes from freezing.
3. Milk and Bread. We are all quite familiar with the rush to the store for milk and bread before a big storm. Make sure you have water, foods that are easy to prepare, flashlights, first-aid kits, warm clothing and extra blankets.
4. Sand, Rock Salt or Kitty Litter. Keep a bag of sand, rock salt or non-clumping kitty litter on-hand. Sprinkling one of these on walkways, steps and driveways can help make them less slippery.
5. Be Prepared. Check the batteries in your smoke and carbon monoxide alarms. Have your heater and/or heating system checked before colder temperatures arrive and make sure everyone in your home knows where the main water shut-off is located.
This article was provided by Art Smith at AAA Insurance in Holly Springs.