| Thu, Dec 29, 2016 @ 09:00 AM

Winter Driving Tips That May Help Make It Less Scary

Posted by Medicare Made Clear

winter-driving-tipsDepending on where you live, winter driving can be hazardous for both you and your car. Cold temperatures can reduce the effectiveness of your vehicle’s battery by at least 50 percent1 and thicken your car’s lubricants, making the engine work harder. Extreme winter weather can also threaten your life. If you live in a northern climate or a mountainous state, you need to take extra precautions to help ensure your safety.

Winter Driving Tips

  • Don’t drive when you’re tired.
  • Don’t leave your vehicle’s motor running inside the garage. Move it outside.
  • Always wear your seat belt.
  • Always look and steer in the direction where you want to go.
  • Bring a fully charged cell phone with you.
  • If you are driving far from home, bring your medications in case you get stranded.
  • Watch weather reports and avoid unnecessary travel if the weather is bad.
  • Tell someone your departure and arrival times and the route you’ll be taking.
  • Pay special attention when driving near snow plows. Last year in Minnesota, there were 72 crashes involving vehicles that hit snow plows.2 This is typically caused by inattentive drivers, motorists driving too close to the plow or motorists driving too fast for conditions.

Winterize Your Car

  • Get your car battery tested by a technician.
  • Replace worn belts and hoses.
  • Make sure all fluids are at optimum levels.
  • Replace windshield wiper blades.
  • Check tire pressure and use the proper tires for your car and climate.
  • Keep the gas tank at least half full at all times.

What to Include in a Winter Survival Kit for Your Car

  • Water or beverages that won’t freeze easily, like a sport drink
  • A bag of cat litter or sand to spread under tires for traction
  • Granola bars or high energy snacks
  • Road flairs or reflectors
  • Warm blankets and extra socks, gloves and jackets
  • A small shovel to clear snow from tires and exhaust pipe
  • A good ice scraper

A little planning can go a long way. It may even save your life. Read about more Rules of the Road for Safe Driving at Medicare Made Clear.

For more information, explore MedicareMadeClear.com or contact the Medicare helpline 24 hours a day, seven days a week at 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227), TTY 1-877-486-2048.


Why Take a Driver Safety Course?: AARP.org

AARP Smart Driver™ Course: A new and improved driving course for today’s older driver—AARP.org

Best Car Features for Caregivers: When you are a caregiver, what you drive matters—AARP.org

1 Winter Survival in Your Car, Homeland Security and Emergency Management,

A Division of the Minnesota Department of Public Safety, November 5, 2014

2 Winter Safety, Snowplow Safety, Homeland Security and Emergency Management,

A Division of the Minnesota Department of Public Safety, November 5, 2014


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