We have had a couple days of spring-like weather, but alas, winter is still here. AARP has many ideas for safe driving for winter-time, and since there may be a few more days of ice, snow and the like, here are a few tips to keep in mind until the first sign of real spring weather is upon us.
Batteries weaken in cold. After three winters, yours might need replacing. Turn on the headlights, and then start the engine. If your car lights brighten when the engine is running, your battery is weak. Make sure windshield washer fluid and engine antifreeze levels are full.
If you haven’t cleaned your windshield from last fall, clean the inside and outside and don’t forget the rear window. Defrost and deice the windshield before you drive instead of hoping the defroster will handle it as you drive. Have your windshield wipers checked too.
Testing the road is a good idea. Have you ever slammed on the brakes to see how icy the road is? Be safe when doing this as trying to stop and start too quickly, even with all-wheel drive or traction control, can leave you stuck in place. Avoid changing speeds too quickly. Take it slowly and allow for extra time to allow your car to warm up and to get to your destination.
Are you packing ‘heat?’ An extra blanket and gloves are a good idea to store in your car. Never leave your car. It’s the warmest and safest place to stay. If you keep the engine running to stay warm, crack a couple of windows for fresh air in case there’s an exhaust-system leak — also poison — that could seep into the car’s interior. Bottles of water stored somewhere is also a good idea in addition to some snacks, phone chargers, and a flashlight. If you do have to leave your car for any reason, have a bright colored outer garment or fluorescent color hat or vest to wear so you are seen by passing cars. Call 911 to report your issue.
Too bright out? Store a spare set of darker sunglasses to assist with winter sunny days. Reflections may make you squint and struggle with navigating road signs, construction warning signs and other cars. Keep your eyes on the road and drive defensively. Keep your headlights on if you have an older car in order to be seen by others. Make sure all your light bulbs are working which may include turn signal lights, brake lights and running lights.
Your LifeSpan Center has an AARP Safe Driving course that will assist with additional information, and when you complete it you could qualify for a multiyear discount on your auto insurance. This class is open to the public of all ages. Our first class for 2018 is Feb. 13 at 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m. Call today to register at 217-639-5150.
Happy and safe driving this winter!
The LifeSpan Center is located at 11021 E. Co. Rd. 800 N., Charleston. The telephone number is 217-639-5150. Come join us each weekday at noon for “Lunch at LifeSpan.”
Peace Meals, sponsored by Sarah Bush Lincoln Health Center, are served Monday through Friday at a suggested donation of $3.50. To register, reserve a lunch or learn more, call 217-348-1800.