With winter just around the corner, its important drivers stay safe on the roads – and RSA has the tips to help them do so.
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DRIVE CAUTIOUSLY DURING BAD WEATHER
- Be aware of the speed limit and slow down when conditions are poor. The speed limit is intended for ideal road conditions and may be too fast if the road is icy or snow-covered.
- Plan ahead and stay off the roads during snow storms.
- Low beam headlights are more effective than high beams in fog or heavy snow conditions.
- Signal well in advance of turning or switching lanes so other motorists can react to your actions.
- Allow yourself at least three times the normal distance for stopping.
- Be cautious when driving across bridges. Bridges are subject to greater temperature fluctuations so may be slippery even when other parts of the highway are not.
PREPARE YOUR VEHICLE FOR WINTER
- Have the battery and charging system checked for optimum performance. Cold weather is hard on batteries.
- Clean, flush and put new antifreeze in the cooling system. As a general rule of thumb, this should be done every two years.
- Make sure heaters, defrosters and wipers work properly. Consider winter wiper blades and use cold weather washer fluid. As a general rule, wiper blades should be replaced every six months.
- Winter tires are important for safe driving. Be proactive and have your winter tires put on before the first snowfall.
- During winter, tire pressure should be checked weekly.
- Be diligent about changing the oil and filter at recommended intervals. Dirty oil can spell trouble in winter. Consider changing to “winter weight” oil if you live in a cold climate. Have your technician check the fuel, air and transmission filters at the same time.
- If you’re due for a tune-up, have it done before winter sets in. Winter magnifies existing problems such as pings, hard starts, sluggish performance or rough idling.
- Have the brakes checked. The braking system is the vehicle’s most important safety item.
- Have the exhaust system checked for carbon monoxide leaks, which can be especially dangerous during cold weather driving when windows are closed.
- Check to see that exterior and interior lights work and headlights are properly aimed.