Midwestern drivers dread the first weather forecast that includes the phrase “wintery mix.” To those who aren’t in the know, a wintery mix means that there will be precipitation falling that is a combination of both rain and snow at the same time. As the temperature continues to drop and clouds get heavier and heavier with precipitation, drivers in Minnesota understand the importance of getting their vehicles ready for winter roads.
In a recent piece published in TripSavvy, one writer highlights the challenges she faced when moving from a warmer part of the country to Minnesota. Even for those who haven’t recently moved, they are still good ideas to keep in mind.
- Tires: While a car purchased in Florida or Southern California might be fitted with “summer” tires, drivers in the Midwest should rely on “all-weather” tires … or, at the very least, be prepared to change their summer tires to the winter variety in anticipation of bad weather. Be sure you know the type and amount of wear on your tires.
- Winter box: Many Minnesota drivers prepare a “winter box” to be kept in the car in case of emergency. Outside of gloves and an ice-scraper, drivers should keep a few bottles of water, some protein bars, a change of clothes and a heavy blanket. Drivers might also choose to keep a shovel and a bag of sand or cat litter in the event they get stuck and need extra traction to get back on the road.
- Battery: Any car parts store can check your battery and ensure you have a strong enough charge to get you through the winter. Always remember that severe weather – the dramatic changes from hot to cold – can dramatically impact your battery’s consistent operation.
- General car systems: From windshield wiper fluid to antifreeze, certain chemicals are designed to work better at extremely low temperatures. Make sure your vehicle is prepared to deal with the harsh realities of Minnesota winter.
While it is wise to prepare for severe weather, not every challenge can be avoided. If you or a loved one is injured in a vehicle accident in dangerous weather, don’t hesitate to schedule a consultation to discuss your situation. A vehicle accident attorney can provide valuable insight into your legal options after a crash.