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How to get your vehicle winter ready

As the holidays approach, you may have put off getting your vehicle ready for winter. Many people in Maryland don’t realize how critical this step is in keeping you safe while driving and avoiding accidents on the road. According to the Federal Highway Administration, nearly 22 percent of all motor vehicles accidents involve bad weather conditions, such as snow, fog, wind, rain, sleet or ice. Approximately 6,000 people lose their lives in weather-related accidents each year. When you winterize your car, you can help to reduce the likelihood of becoming involved in a catastrophic car accident.

There are several components of your vehicle that should be checked prior to going out on the icy roads. Having your tires filled to the proper tire pressure is important, as tires that are underinflated are prone to skidding and sliding on slick surfaces. Tires should also have sufficient tread that will allow them to maintain a good grip on the road.  When tires do not have good traction, the vehicle may have difficulties stopping, skid into another vehicle or even hydroplane out of control.

You can make sure that all of your vehicle’s systems are working properly by taking your car in for a maintenance check. The technician will look at several things, including the following:

  •          Brakes and brake pads
  •          Battery
  •          Exhaust system
  •          All fluids, such as radiator fluid, oil, windshield wiper fluid and coolant
  •          Windshield wipers
  •          Belts and hoses

It is also recommended that you leave your gas tank at least half full at all times and carry tire chains in case you should get stuck in snowy weather. 

This information is intended to educate and should not be taken as legal advice.

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