When it comes to living in the Northern or Northeastern parts of the United States there is one thing for certain and that is that Winter weather can become quite the challenge to make it to your next destination. In this guide today we will be going over some of the best ways that you can prepare in advance for the Winter Weather to prepare for the worse.
The Challenges of Winter Weather
When it comes to the Winter months many drivers dread needing to drive through the wintery conditions that are thrown at them. Some of these conditions include obstacles such as snow, black ice, ice, wintery mix, and sudden temperature drops that could change the weather in an instant.
Winter weather can often cause travel delays, closures, and challenging roadways that if you are caught off guard could quickly cause damage to your vehicle. Let’s learn about some of the different weather conditions to get you caught up to date with the conditions and steps you need to take to be aware of before they hit.
Black Ice – Black ice is a thin layer of ice that can form on road surfaces in cold weather and gets the name “Black Ice” from being nearly invisible on pavement surfaces. This makes knowing that you are driving on ice extremely challenging during the winter months as you may be surprised the next time you are slowing down, turning, or giving the vehicle too much gas. One of the best things you can do when you run into black ice is to be patient and take your time to prevent you or your vehicle from getting into a bad situation that could cause potential injuries if you are not careful.
Snow – Vapor that is frozen into tiny or large crystals creating white flakes and can cause white layers on the ground. This can range from thin layers of snow on the ground to several inches or feet in some cases. Roadways, pavement surfaces, and sidewalks can have snow that can make you and your vehicle struggle to get through to the next destination. One of the best things to do beforehand is to have materials such as snow shovels, warm blankets, ice scrapper, snow tires, and good wiper blades on your vehicle can make all of the difference during the winter months.
Wintery Mix – Winter mix is where snow and rainfall mix as it is falling causing the weather to quickly go from rain, ice, to snow. This can be a range of each or a mixture of all three depending on the temperature for the day so it’s always best to expect it to be icy and slippery. This allows you to prepare for the worst and allows you to be cautious when taking quick turns, sudden brakes, hard accelerations, or when getting out of your motor vehicle.
Snow Drifts – Snow that has fallen on the ground and has drifted in the wind into deeper piles of snow. This can cause challenges as the snowdrifts can drift across roadways causing what appears to be snow-free areas to suddenly be covered in deep snow. One of the best ways to prepare for snowdrifts in the roadways ahead of time is by having a good set of headlight bulbs in your vehicle to have the ultimate visibility to allow you to slow down before you reach the snowdrift in the road.
Things You Should Keep In Your Vehicle in Winter
Ice Scrapper – This can make things such as removing the snow and ice off of your vehicle extremely easy. Simply scrape the windows using the blade or brush to provide the ultimate visibility before you leave for your next destination. You can also use things such as a can of deicer that makes the thick layers of ice come off quicker if you are in a bind. However, you will want to avoid getting deicer chemicals on your paint as it could cause damage to the paint and the clear coat on the vehicle if you are not careful.
Recovery Tow Strap – One of the most important things to avoid a costly tow that could quickly exceed several hundred dollars is by keeping a tow strap in your vehicle during the winter months. Often when you need your vehicle towed is when it becomes stuck in a driveway or you miss the roadway due to lack of visibility and end up in the muddy grass. When possible the tow strap can help remove your ATV, UTV, Car, or Pickup Truck out of the mud or deep snow and get you back on the road. Here at Shippers Supplies, we provide the Automotive, Professional Trucking Industry, ATV, and UTV industries with recovery tow straps that work without breaking the bank. View our full selection of Tow Straps HERE
Jumper Cables – Something that is always good to keep on hand in your vehicle is keeping a good set of Jumper Cables or a Jump Box that can help give your dead or low charged battery in your vehicle the ability to start. In Winter batteries tend to become much weaker due to batteries losing efficiency in the cold.
Moving Blankets – No matter if you are cold waiting for your vehicle to warm up to hit the road or if your vehicle has become broken down it is always a great idea to keep warm blankets in the trunk of your vehicle to prepare for the worst. We recommend using Moving Blankets as they use more fabric than traditional household blankets and can also be used to protect sensitive wooden or glass surfaces that are being transported in your vehicle. You can view our full selection of Moving Blankets HERE
Charging Device – When it comes to Winter Weather having a charging device for a Cellphone or GPS is an absolute must as you never know when you need to find a different road to take or when you need to make a call. It is also equally important to remember to charge your phone when you get in your vehicle to ensure that the phone is charged when you need it. Avoid the potential headaches at a later point in time by knowing your cell phone is always ready to use.
Outside Gear – As the temperature drops it becomes harder to stay outside for longer periods of time and using gloves can make working on your vehicle or pumping gas much easier. We recommend finding several extra pairs of gloves to keep in your vehicle for yourself or others as they tend to always find a way to go missing. It may not be a bad idea to always keep a few pairs of warm hats to protect your ears from the cold weather as well.
Flares – A good thing to help others see your vehicle in the snow or poor visibility if your vehicle becomes broken down on the roadways. You can also put a reflective jacket in your vehicle as well to help keep you and your vehicle safe during the winter months.
Staying on Top of Vehicle Maintenance
It is always a great idea during the Winter season to make sure to stay ahead of your vehicle maintenance by staying up to date with your vehicle inspections. Some of the things to look for is making sure your windshield washer fluid in your car remains topped off, checking on the health of your battery in your vehicle, wiper blades if they need, tires have the correct psi, and all lights on your vehicle are functional and have good lightbulbs. This should be added to your vehicle’s normal maintenance routine during the colder months as the cold temperatures can impact electronics such as batteries and bulbs quicker.
Although this is completely optional for you to do during the winter months, we encourage our customers to always wash their personal vehicles frequently during the winter months. This helps to prevent rust from the salt and brine that is placed on the roadways to melt ice. Although they are great at removing snow and ice on the roadways it can be extremely harmful to the condition of your vehicle if it is not washed frequently.
We recommend washing under the wheel wells, exterior door panels, under the hood, and around the back of the vehicle as they are the most common areas to rust. You will want to use water, soap, and layer the vehicle with wax once you have washed the vehicle to provide a shield against rust.
Tips for Winter Driving
• Slow down.
• Stay focused
• Purchase Winter Tires
• Keep a close eye on the weather and temperature.
• Prepare for the worst
• Practice makes perfect
• Keep supplies and maintenance up to date