Winter Driving Safety Tips: Get Your Car Ready

Winter Driving, Driving Safety Tips, Tires, Car Battery, AntifreezeWinter driving can be stressful. Give yourself a little peace of mind and schedule a winter maintenance service with your local auto shop. They will inspect your tires, car battery, and antifreeze levels. Then follow these winter driving safety tips to help you safely get where you are going this winter.


Winter Driving Safety Tips

Safe motorists are prepared motorists. Know your limits and drive smart. Plan your route ahead of time, and pull over if driving conditions worsen past your comfort zone. 

Here are more winter driving safety tips:

  • Reduce your speed.
  • Stay home if possible and wait for better weather.
  • Do not use cruise control in wet, snowy, or icy conditions.
  • Avoid tailgating – leave plenty of room between your vehicle and the one you are following.
  • Do not closely follow snowplows  – they can stop or change direction suddenly.
  • Always buckle up – your seat belt should fit snugly; do not wear a bulky coat under your seat belt (especially true for children).

Roadside Emergency Kit

A well-stocked roadside emergency kit can prove to be a lifesaver, literally. All motorists should have an emergency kit stowed in their vehicles at all times. A backpack, plastic bin, or duffle bag works well to keep everything organized. Winter driving requires a few more cold-weather items to help keep you safe and prepared in the event of an emergency, accident, or collision.

Essential Items For Your Vehicle

  • In addition to a spare tire, keep a can of Fix-A-Flat or tire inflator 
  • Jumper cables
  • Flares, LED emergency lights, reflectors, flashlight
  • Sand, salt, or kitty litter for added traction in snow or ice
  • Small hand shovel, ice scraper
  • Quality multi-tool, duct tape, work gloves

Essential Items For Your Passengers

  • Blankets, jackets, waterproof parka
  • Gloves, caps, scarves, dry socks, snow boots
  • Chemical hand & foot warmers
  • Bottled water, dry snacks, cough drops, or other hard candies
  • Necessary medications, basic first aid supplies
  • Spare phone charger

Winter Driving Maintenance

We have all heard the phrase Sweater Weather, right? The term is frequently tossed around in the fall. It signals us to get out our cold-weather clothing to prepare ourselves for the coming colder temperatures. Well, we also need to prepare our cars to continue to drive safely during the cold winter months. Routine winter maintenance should include the following services:

Inspect Tires

Did you know that tire traction can become dangerously compromised in wet, snowy, or icy conditions? Maintaining the correct air pressure helps keep your tires in direct contact with the road, thus improving tire traction. Inspect your tires weekly for proper inflation, unusual tread wear, and damages to the tires and rims during the winter months. Bring your car in (or have it towed) to your local auto shop for tire service immediately if you notice anything that looks off.

Test Car Battery

Extreme temperatures are brutal on car batteries. Before embarking on any wintertime driving adventures, ensure the battery terminals are clean and free of all corrosion. A good connection delivers a better flow of electricity to your vehicle’s components. If your battery is older than three years, bring it to an auto shop for a battery service to test its charge capacity. Once your battery can no longer hold a full charge, replace it to avoid getting stranded somewhere in freezing temperatures.


Read your owner’s manual or ask your auto technician if your car will benefit from a winter formula antifreeze. Since manufacturers create antifreeze & coolants for specific vehicle types, verify that the formula you choose is safe to use in your car. Fully drain and flush old fluid before filling with a different type or color antifreeze. While it is ok to top off low antifreeze with the same formula, never mix different formulas (or colors) together. You may inadvertently create a gel-like substance in your cooling system that can cause costly damages. One final note; antifreeze is toxic if ingested, so clean up any spills immediately and responsibly dispose of all old or used fluid.

Additional Services

Last but not least, inspect, repair or replace these essential components this winter:

  • Upgrade to ‘winter grade’ windshield wipers & a de-icing formula windshield washer fluid
  • Oil Change (ask your technician about winter-weight oil)
  • Belts & Hoses
  • Headlamps, Brake Lights, Turn Signals, Fog Lights, Interior Lights
  • Brake Pads, Brake Fluid, Anti-lock Braking System

Winter Driving Maintenance in Ottsville, PA

Cunningham’s Automotive Repair provides automotive services you can trust. Our ASE-certified technicians use the latest diagnostic equipment to identify your concerns quickly and accurately. Let us perform a winter maintenance service on your vehicle to help ensure you have a safer driving experience this winter.

Make An Appointment

Visit our website or call us at (610) 847-6006 to make your appointment for a Winter Maintenance Service today!