With last week ushering in the first snowfall of the winter season, the worst is yet to come and drivers should be prepared for the snow, sleet and icy rain.
When it comes to your car, truck or van, making sure it is in top condition for the winter months is key. Vehicles should get a thorough service check-up before the winter, said
- Flares or reflector
- Cell phone
- First aid kit
- Fire extinguisher
Gary McCracken, co-owner of Main Street Auto Repair, and it should include checking and topping off fluids, testing the battery and putting snow tires on the car.
“The right time to do this depends on the person,” McCracken said.
While many people wait until November to have their vehicles equipped with snow tires, McCracken suggests that October is a good time to have new tires put on the vehicle.
However, making sure a vehicle is at peak performance for the winter months does not guarantee that someone will not go off the road due to icy or snowy conditions. An emergency kit should be kept in the car in case that happens.
A flashlight, flares and cell phone are three important things to have in a kit, McCracken said.
Additionally, a kit should also include chains, a fire extinguisher, first aid supplies and blankets, said Bill Knickerbocker, deputy fire chief and director of city code enforcement. Those are just some of the things Knickerbocker personally carries in his kit, he said.
An important thing to keep in mind is what to do after an accident occurs or a vehicle goes off the road.
If someone is on the interstate and things go haywire, then getting out of the vehicle may not be a good idea, said Fire Chief Charles Glover. “You tend to be a little more protected from traffic in a vehicle.”
Depending on the seriousness of the accident, 911 should usually be a person’s first call, Glover said.
If someone goes off the road and is uninjured, they still may need 911 for help, whether for towing or traffic control, Glover said.