Fall weather in the Pacific Northwest is unpredictable. Some days it is sunny and 60 degrees and other days it is pouring rain and blowing hard with temperatures not exceeding 40 degrees. This swing in weather affects drivers and car accident rates. Understanding how cold weather affects your car’s performance and mitigating the risks by ensuring your car is in the best possible condition is a good idea. Use these safety tips to prepare your car for driving in cooler temperatures and to reduce your chance of being in a fall driving car accident.
Prepare your car for fall driving: reduce your risk of a fall driving car accident
- Check fluid levels and leaks
The easiest way to do this is to get an oil change and request that all fluids be topped up and leaks be identified. Antifreeze is especially important to check and top up because it may have become diluted in the hot summer months. In the colder months antifreeze is vital to your engine’s operation because it regulates your engine’s temperature and ensures that it runs smoothly.
- Take your car in for a maintenance check: belts, hoses and heating issues
Bring your car in for a maintenance check. Have them follow up on any warning signs found during the oil change service; request that your mechanic check and change any belts and hoses that are worn out and fix any heating issues. They can advise you of any other problem areas that need addressing before the weather turns.
- Check tire pressure
Variable temperatures can cause your tires to condense or expand and cold weather can cause low tire pressure. Check your vehicle’s manual for the correct tire pressure and test each tire’s pressure reading on a regular basis. Refill tires that are running low to ensure safe handling of your vehicle.
- Keep an eye on your fuel levels and check fuel lines
Fuel lines can be affected by cooling temperatures; fuel supplements are a way to ensure that ice stays out of your fuel lines. Do not let your car’s fuel get too close to empty in the cold weather; adequate fuel is needed to keep your car running and ensures that you won’t get stranded in the dark and cold.
- Pack cold weather safety items into your car
You don’t want to get stuck in an unexpected ice or snow storm; an ice scraper, small shovel, blanket, gloves and flashlight are all essential safety items when traveling in the fall. A first aid kit, flares, jumper cables and an empty gas can are also useful safety items for the entire year.
If you or a loved one is dealing with an accident or injury through no fault of your own, you have enough on your plate. Let an experienced accident attorney fight for the full compensation that you deserve. It is not uncommon to receive a settlement from the insurance company that is five to ten times bigger with the help of a lawyer. Call the caring accident attorneys at Tario & Associates, P.S. in Bellingham, WA today for a FREE consultation! We have been representing residents of Whatcom County, Skagit County, Island County and Snohomish County since 1979. You will pay nothing up front and no attorney fees at all unless we recover damages for you!