There are a lot of benefits to living in Southeast Texas, not the least of which is a mild climate during the winter months. Houstonians can usually avoid the ice and snow that their neighbors to the north have to contend with every year. However, with Holiday road-trips on the rise, there will be many travelers who are inexperienced with driving through ice and snowy conditions.
“Let’s face it, a lot of people native to this area don’t know how to drive in ice and snow,” said Mark Orsack of Milstead Automotive in Spring. “You need to be prepared and take precautions.” Orsack offers this handy checklist for getting drivers and vehicles ready for holiday road trips:
Get a check-up for your car – Have a mechanic check the brakes, lights, tires, antifreeze, exhaust system, belts and hoses. Change the oil and don’t forget to check that the heater and defroster are in good working order.
Test the battery – It’s harder for your battery to hold a charge in cold weather. Also, clean off any corrosion from posts and connections.
Replace worn wiper blades – Worn out wiper blades will decrease visibility in rain or snow. Also bring extra windshield washer fluid. Get washer fluid that is formulated for sub-zero temperatures if you are travelling to colder climates.
Consider snow tires or chains – If you’re road trip takes you through snow, you will need extra traction. You may want to get snow tires, or have tire chains in the trunk. You should check the tire pressure frequently during the trip because tire pressure decreases in cold weather.
Pack a winter survival kit – This should include an ice scraper, road flares, jumper cables, cell phone chargers, a flashlight with extra batteries and a first aid kit. It’s also recommended that you bring a shovel and some sand or kitty litter to use if you get stuck in snow or slick, icy surfaces.
Plan your route in advance – Stick to main roads which are more likely to be plowed or sanded in bad weather. Check road conditions on-line just prior to leaving.
Drive with caution – Remember your basic driving safety. Stay alert, steer into a skid and take it slowly. Give yourself time to maneuver as it takes longer to accelerate, stop or turn on snow covered roads.
“With a little preparation you can expect to have safe and happy travels this Holiday season,” Orsack said. The professionals at Milstead Automotive, located at 29707 W. Hawthorne in Spring, are committed to providing exceptional service and customer care. Call Milstead Automotive at 281-367-3535 to schedule routine maintenance, or visit their website at milsteadautomotive.