This year’s winter has been especially nasty in Minnesota, with some areas dropping near -60 degrees F. That’s not far off from the United States’ lowest recorded temperature of all time at -80 F in Alaska of 1971.
If your car breaks down or you get into an accident at these temperatures, the situation could be deadly. Since Minnesota winters have been known to stretch all the way into May, it’s a good idea to winter-proof your car now if you haven’t already. Here are a few ways to get started.
Get winter tires
Helping your vehicle stick to the road with winter tires will help keep you from slipping and sliding after rainy days turn icey cold. This tip is especially advantageous for front-wheel drive cars or vehicles with a smaller engine.
When deciding which winter tires you should buy, consider the tread pattern, depth and compound of the tire. Also, remember that you’ll need to replace all four tires. Using a mix of all-season tires and winter tires can easily lead to an accident because of the differences in treads.
Especially for those planning to travel a far distance, it’s a good idea to pack your car with supplies in case of an emergency. Supplies that could be useful to keep during the winter may include the following:
- Hat, gloves and boots
- Hand warmers
- Portable cellphone charger
- Ice scraper/snow brush
- Jumper cables
- Tow chain
- Non-perishable snacks
- Sand, kitty litter or salt
Drive according to conditions
Did you know that you can get a speeding ticket for traveling faster than weather conditions allow — even if you’re under the speed limit? It’s true! Driving too fast while the roads are covered in snow and ice is very dangerous and often leads to a spin out that causes multiple vehicles to collide.
In cold and snowy weather, you should slow down your speed, apply your breaks early and try to follow the tracks in the road. Additionally, it may be a good idea not to drive during extreme weather conditions if you can help it. Try to keep an eye on the forecast and stock up on groceries and home goods before a bad storm hits.
Know what to do after an accident
Unfortunately, there isn’t always much you can do to avoid an accident caused by another driver. If you are injured in the crash, it’s important to call the police to the scene, file an accident report and seek medical attention.
From there, a personal injury attorney can help you seek the compensation you need to recover without an onslaught of medical debt.