By: Clark Wireman
With Winter right around the corner, driving can be a daunting and stressful task, we all have to do it. We have obligations we have to fulfill, jobs,kids, family in general…. and if your like me, I am not rich enough to own a jet with a pilot. Unfortunately, I have to drive like most normal people….so with that said, I would like to touch on a few things, friendly advice, so to say, and maybe some of these tips can help you become a little more prepared for traveling this Winter season.
First, you need to make sure you vehicle is in optimal operating condition. If you are not comfortable with doing this on your own, take it to a reputable shop and have it inspected. You do not want to be stuck out there in inclement weather over something that could have been prevented. I am gonna touch more on travel preparation and these are as follows:
1. Have a plan: You know you are gonna go see family, friends etc. Have your clothes, presents etc, ready to go, you can save yourself quite a bit of time before hitting the road and feel less pressed for time on the road.
2. I know this is a tough one, especially this time of year….Do your best to make sure you are well rested. It is not worth the risk to you, your family, or others on the road. Driver fatigue is just as dangerous as drunk driving.
3. Stay informed, keep up with weather reports for your area and the ones you are traveling through.
4. Now, I know we all just cannot keep our cars full of fuel, but it is good practice in Winter to keep your tank, at least, half-full at all times. The hot/cold cycles of operating your vehicle in the Winter can cause condensation buildup in your tank. Keeping you fuel level in check, helps to prevent issues that could be caused by it. On a more important note, you want plenty of fuel, just in case you get stuck or stranded, so you can idle your vehicle and keep the heat going until help arrives.
5. Keep some inter supplies in your car. It is a good idea to have an emergency roadside kit in every vehicle. They are, relatively inexpensive, at most department stores. Also, grab some extra blankets and bottled water. Keep them stashed away inside, especially if you plan do a lot of traveling throughout the Winter.
These are just a few points to consider and I hope they help. Just be careful out there, give yourself plenty of time to reach your destination without rush, brake slowly and smoothly, and avoid distractions (Please, people put your phones down!) Spending time with family and friends are important, especially this time of year. Knowledge and preparation are key. If you know what you are getting into and prepare for it, this will make your travels easier and much safer.
Keep the rubber side down, and have a safe and happy Holiday Season.
Clark Wireman is an experienced, professional CDL driver, and long time car enthusiast. He loves to breakdown a car and built it up again, making it the better, and uniquely his own. He lives in Lexington, KY.