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Winter Car Safety Checklist

snow car

Winter driving can often be unpredictable and change in the blink of an eye. A seemingly sunny day can turn dark and stormy, leaving you in harrowing driving conditions. It’s important to be prepared for hazardous driving conditions even if you don’t expect them. Here is a checklist of safety preparations you should make so you can safely get yourself from A to B this winter season.

Before the storm hits

 

It’s a good idea to get some things ready in the summer or fall so you don’t have to scramble when the bad weather hits. Here are some things you can do in advance to prepare for winter driving:

  • Have your battery checked and replaced if necessary.
  • Check your belts to make sure they’re not cracked or fraying.
  • Check the hoses in your engine to make sure they’re not brittle or leaking.
  • Check the tread on your tires and consider investing in some snow tires or all-season tires that will handle snowy or slippery roads well.
  • Check your tire pressure, because the pressure will drop with the temperature. Properly inflated tires are important for maintaining good traction.
  • Coolant levels should also be checked when the engine is cold. You can pick up an inexpensive tester to check the level of antifreeze protection at any auto parts store.
  • Make sure all lights are working properly and replaced if any bulbs are burnt out.
  • Check that your wiper blades are working and thorough in their wiping abilities. You can buy rubber boots to put around them to prevent ice or snow from building up on them.
  • Refill the wiper fluid if necessary so you can keep your windshield clean after dirty precipitation falls on it.
  • Have your brakes professionally checked to make sure they’re fully functional. Have the brake fluid checked and refilled, as well.

Items to keep in your car

In the event that you are affected by hazardous winter driving conditions, there are a few things you should keep with you to help get you out of a bind. These include:

  • Ice scraper
  • Flashlight and batteries
  • A spare tire and tire-changing tools
  • A snow shovel and salt/kitty litter to help if you get stuck
  • Reflectors or flares so you’re visible if you do run off the road
  • Jumper cables
  • Tool kit
  • Emergency survival kit, including blankets, nonperishable food, first aid kit, and warm clothing

In the midst of winter

When winter arrives and you inevitably must come face-to-face with the snowy and icy roads, there are still additional measures you can take to ensure your travels are safe. Here are some safe-driving practices that will help you stay safe on the road:

  • Plan ahead. If you can avoid the storm by running your errands on another day, plan for that. Checking the forecast alone can save you a lot of grief.
  • Warm up the car
  • If your trip is long or outside of your usual route, tell someone where you’re going and check-in so somebody is aware if something goes wrong.
  • Don’t use your parking brake to slow down
  • Give yourself more time to stop and more distance from other cars to protect yourself if someone else loses control
  • Don’t use cruise control
  • If you do find yourself stranded, stay in your car to keep warm.
  • Always keep your gas tank at least half-full

Even if you follow every tip and precaution, accidents can and do happen. The best protection for winter driving is a good auto insurance policy. For more information on how to keep safe this winter on the road, talk to the professionals at Heuer Insurance Agency today.

How To Know Its Time For A New Vehicle

broken car

Replacing your trusty old vehicle can be a difficult decision to make, but at some point, it becomes necessary. If one of the following scenarios applies to you, it is time to consider investing in a new car.

 
Your Current Vehicle Is No Longer Safe
There are many things that could result in your vehicle becoming unsafe. Perhaps it has just worn out after years of faithful service, or perhaps it has been irreparably damaged by an accident. Whatever the case, it is essential to replace your vehicle if it is no longer safe to drive.

 
Your Current Vehicle Is Expensive To Drive Or Maintain
If your current vehicle is getting too expensive to maintain or drive, it may be time to consider a replacement. If your car is inefficient and it is getting more and more difficult to pay the increasing cost of gas, you may want to trade it in for a newer, more efficient model. Older vehicles can also become very expensive to maintain. In some cases older cars break down more and more often and in other cases it can become too hard to find replacement parts. Maintaining your vehicle is important to staying safe on the road—if maintenance has become too difficult, it is time for a new car.

 
Your Current Vehicle No Longer Suits Your Lifestyle
Life brings many changes, and in some cases, this means it is time to change your vehicle as well. Maybe you’ve had a new baby and you need a bigger vehicle, or maybe all your kids have grown up and moved out and you’d like to find a new, more efficient replacement. When your life and needs change, it is time to get a vehicle that suits those changes. Be sure to consider auto insurance policies when choosing your new car, some cars can be much more expensive to insure than others, so you should make sure you pick a car that you can afford to insure. If you need help making a decision, contact an insurance agent before you buy a new vehicle.

Simple Ways to Save Money on Gas

gas money

Sure, gas prices are lower than they’ve been in years, but how long will that last? The savings have been awesome, and to get even more bang for your buck at the pump, here are some tips that can help improve your fuel economy.

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Should I buy a Hybrid or a Gas Car?

purchasing a car

As our society attempts to become more and more environmentally friendly, hybrid cars are quickly becoming mainstream options. However, that doesn’t mean that a hybrid is best for every driver.

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