Driving in winter presents many challenges. Even experienced drivers may encounter situations that could put them at risk. As your hometown Boston Mazda dealership in Lowell, Mass., all of us here at Lannan Mazda feel it’s important to help keep you and your family safe on our roadways.
The following Winter Weather Safe Driving Guide gives you some common-sense tips about driving safely in winter conditions.
Prepare Your Car For Winter Driving
Make sure your car is ready to tackle winter driving. Some key areas you should inspect include:
Tires – Look for signs of uneven wear, or any damage to the sidewall. Tires lose air pressure in colder weather, so keep them inflated to manufacturer’s recommendations.
Fluids – Ensure that your antifreeze is at the proper level. The same goes for oil, transmission, power steering, and brake fluids.
Belts & Hoses – Visually inspect belts and hoses looking for cracks or soft spots in the rubber. Do this with the engine cold and turned off.
Battery – Check for corrosion on the terminals and clean with a wire brush if necessary. If your car is hard to start, take it into our Service Department here at Lannan Mazda, and we’ll check your electrical system for you.
Wiper Blades – Weather takes its toll on wiper blades. They are essential for good visibility, so check for cracks, separation, and streaking. Replace with a new set of blades.
Air Filter – A dirty air filter can rob your engine of performance and affect gas mileage.
Lights – Visually inspect your headlights and tail lights. Replace bulbs or have the headlights adjusted to improve visibility at night. Consider using your headlights during the daytime, especially during bad weather, so other cars can see you better.
Brakes – Ensure that your brakes are working at their best. If you are not sure, please take your car to our Service Department for an inspection.
Prepare Yourself for Winter Driving
You should also take the following steps to improve your winter driving safety:
Slow Down – This may seem like a no-brainer, but just slowing down is a key to winter driving safety.
Pack An Emergency Kit – Create a winter emergency kit that should contain blankets, gloves, hats, a flashlight, jumper cables, flares, first-aid supplies, food, extra medications, and water. Keep your cellphone charged up.
Avoid Distracted Or Impaired Driving – Using your cellphone while driving or driving impaired increases your chance of an accident, regardless of the weather or season. If your car is so equipped, take advantage of hands-free technology like the kind you’ll find on our new 2015 Mazdas here at Lannan Mazda.
Don’t Drive If You Are Tired – You need to be especially alert when driving in wintery conditions. Try to avoid driving when you are fatigued and get plenty of rest.
Don’t Warm Up Your Car In The Garage – It’s tempting to warm up your car in the cozy confines of your garage. But you put yourself at risk for carbon monoxide poisoning if you do.
Don’t Mix Different Types Of Tires – Swapping out your summer tires for winter tires? Make sure not to mix radial tires with other tire types as this will affect your ability to control your vehicle.
Stay Fueled Up – Keep at least a half-tank of gas in your car to avoid your gas line freezing up.
Don’t Use Your Parking Brake – Your parking brake may stick, or the cable might snap in cold weather.
Avoid Using Cruise Control – Stay in control of your vehicle by not using cruise control on slippery or icy surfaces.
Look & Steer In The Direction Of Travel – Stay focused on the road ahead. Look and steer where you want your car to go. Avoid overcorrecting.
Wear Your Seatbelt – This tip seems obvious. Make sure to buckle up every time you get behind the wheel.
Check The Weather – Stay on top of weather forecasts and adjust your travel plans accordingly. If you must travel in bad weather, make sure someone knows where you are going, what route you are taking, and when you should be arriving at your destination. If the weather is really bad, stay home if possible.
Stay With Your Vehicle – Take refuge in your car. Tie a bright cloth to your antenna or put it on top of a rolled up window to signal that you are in trouble. Keep interior lights on at night to help people find you in the dark.
Mind Your Speed – In snowy conditions, accelerate and decelerate slowly and evenly. The same goes for turning.
Keep Rolling – It takes more effort to get your car going from a full stop. If you can safely do it, keep moving until the traffic light changes.
Don’t Stop Or Power Up Hills – Stopping on a hill or trying to gun it will just spin your wheels, or worse, leave you stuck. Gradually build up inertia and then reduce your speed when you crest the hill.
We encourage you to practice these safe winter driving tips whenever you can. Working together, we can all drive more safely on our Massachusetts roadways.
Mazdas Are A Top Safety Pick
No matter what the weather throws at you, you’ll drive more safely in a new Mazda thanks to advanced safety features like Ant-Lock Brakes with Electronic Brakeforce Distribution and Brake Assist. Other available advanced safety technology include Mazda’s i-ACTIVESENSE suite of safety features. These features include Radar Cruise Control, Smart City Brake Support With Collision Warning, Distance Recognition, Lane Departure Warning, Rear Cross-Traffic Alert, and Blind-Spot Monitoring. That’s why Mazdas are an IIHS Top Safety Pick+ with available Smart City Brake Support.
Winter Deals Are Heating Up At Lannan Mazda
Your local Lowell, Mass. Mazda dealer is your headquarters for hot winter deals. We’re freezing high prices with exceptional discounts and special offers on our entire lineup of new 2015 Mazdas. You’ll save even more on our wide selection Certified Pre-Owned Mazdas in “like-new” condition. Stop by Lannan Mazda today for some of the best selection and best values on new and used cars in Boston. Find us at 720 Rogers Street, Lowell, MA 01852. Or call us at 978-454-9300.