Winter Car Maintenance Tips to Prevent Motor Vehicle Accidents
As we have learned from our experience as personal injury lawyers, Newfoundland and Labrador presents unique winter driving challenges. Newfoundland drivers must be prepared for all types of weather. Keeping your vehicle well-maintained is an excellent way to prepare you for any weather conditions the winter may bring. Here are the top winter car maintenance tips to prevent motor vehicle accidents that we have gathered as Newfoundland and Labrador personal injury lawyers:
- Examine your vehicle’s tires for wear and tear and check tire pressure and alignment. Roads can be slippery in the winter, so good quality tires are essential to ensuring your vehicle’s safety on the road. Tire pressure can drop along with the air temperature; driving with low tire pressure can lead to tire wear or tread separation, which could lead to a major accident. Also, your vehicle will handle less predictably with under-inflated tires.
- Check your vehicle’s brakes and fluid levels. Along with your tires, accident lawyers in Newfoundland and Labrador will tell you that brakes are vital to your vehicle’s performance, and thus to preventing motor vehicle accidents. This is especially true in the wet, icy, and snowy conditions that winter brings. A fluid leak or other brake problem could result in brake failure and the potential for a serious accident.
- Ensure that your vehicle’s headlights, taillights, and turn signals are clean and functioning properly and that your vehicle’s windshield wipers work effectively. With more rain and snow and fewer daylight hours in the winter, it’s important to make sure your vehicle’s lights and wipers are working properly so that you can see others and others can see you.
- Check that your vehicle’s window defroster and climate control system are working well. In additional to keeping you warm in the winter, the climate control system will help keep your windows from fogging up, while the defroster will keep your windows from icing up. Be sure that your windows and mirrors are clear of frost, ice, and fog each time you drive your vehicle. As experienced Newfoundland personal injury lawyers, we know that good visibility is critical to avoiding fault and preventing motor vehicle accidents in the winter.
- If you are driving outside of Newfoundland and Labrador, find out whether your vehicle is required to have winter tires or tire chains. Make sure that your ice scraper and snow brush are ready to use. Pack a roadside emergency kit that includes a first aid kit, a tire-changing jack, a tire pressure gauge, jumper cables, a flashlight, and a blanket.
- Before leaving home for longer winter journeys, do a thorough vehicle check: tires and tire pressure, brakes, hoses and belts, battery, air filters, wipers, climate control system and defroster, exterior and interior lighting, and fluid levels, including engine oil, brake fluid, windshield washer fluid, and antifreeze.
Winter car maintenance is essential to preventing motor vehicle accidents – as experienced Newfoundland accident lawyers, we have seen a direct relationship between motor vehicle accidents and vehicles (and drivers) unprepared for winter. If the tips set out above seem daunting, take your vehicle to a trusted professional for maintenance both before the winter season begins and throughout the winter as needed.