Temperatures are starting to drop which means the holidays are coming, along with cozy socks, soup weather, and poor driving conditions. While that last one might not be something you consider as the seasons change, weather related accidents account for almost a quarter of driving accidents annually.
It’s smart to head into the winter season with a plan to prepare your vehicle for rain, snow and other extreme conditions. Unfortunately, you can’t plan for everything. If you end up in a weather related accident, be sure to call a Philadelphia car accident lawyer to protect your case.
You Can’t Blame Bad Weather
Cold weather can be extremely harsh on your vehicle, and if you’re lucky enough to live in a place that experiences all the seasons, it will require different maintenance throughout the year. It’s important to follow seasonal maintenance guidelines because unfortunately, your insurance company doesn’t consider inclement weather conditions a reasonable cause for an accident and will likely consider you liable.
Winterize Your Vehicle
A lot of things can go wrong on the road, which is why getting prepared ahead of time is so important. The following are some helpful tips to winterize your car or truck to be as safe as possible.
Get Your Battery Checked
Car batteries prefer a stable temperature of 80 degrees fahrenheit. So, if you (like most people) live in a place that gets above or below that, have your battery tested frequently. This is especially important for cold weather. Not only are engines more difficult to start when it’s cold out, but car batteries also don’t produce as much power. If your battery is a few years old, or if you’ve had trouble with it recently, consider having it replaced to avoid getting stranded.
Inspect Your Tires
Traction is the only thing that will stop you safely on wet or icy roads. Good tire health is one of the most important aspects for winterizing your vehicle. If your tread is less than 2/32”, it’s dangerously low and your tires should be replaced immediately.
You can test your tread at home using the penny trick. Take a penny and place it in between the ribs of your tire, upside down and facing you. If you can see the top of Lincoln’s head, your tread is less than the recommended levels and needs replaced ASAP. Be sure to test several areas of your tires for the most accurate measurements. If the weather where you live changes drastically from summer to winter, you may want to get special tires for each season that you can rotate.
Change Your Oil
The kind of oil your engine needs can change throughout the year. For example, as the temperature decreases, engine oil begins to thicken which can lead to serious problems. Old oil is also dirty and contains contaminants which can further impact how thick it gets. Have your oil checked not only for cleanliness, but also for weight. Check with your owners manual on if your vehicle can use multi-weight oil or needs a specific grade depending on the weather.
Lack of preparedness can make a bad situation worse. And while preparing your vehicle to be safe on the road is important, so is knowing who to call in the event of a weather related accident. If you get into an accident this winter season, be sure to call a car accident attorney in Philadelphia.