It's nice having all four seasons in Alaska, even if that means our winter is a little longer than most people's. Dealing with the cold temperatures, snow and long, dark nights is just part of life in Fairbanks this time of year, and it forces most of us to be more diligent drivers. One thing you can really do to help your safety as a driver is to maximize your visibility. The more you can see (and the more others can see you), the safer you will be.
Simard Automotive has put together this list of helpful visibility tips for the winter season:
1. Keep Your Windows Clean
This may go without saying, but keep your windshield, rear window and side windows clean. Apply a coat of weather treatment to help keep rain, snow and ice from sticking and clean them often. If you know it is going to be clear overnight with below-freezing temperatures, dry off the windows before you go to bed. This will help keep ice from forming.
2. Keep Your Mirrors Clean
Just like your windows, make the effort to keep your rearview mirror and your side mirrors as clean as possible to help with your visibility while driving.
3. Change Your Windshield Wipers
If you haven't already changed out your wiper blades as part of your normal preventative maintenance routine, now may be a good time to do so. You want them working well when rain, sleet and snow are falling.
4. Carry Cleaning, Visibility and Safety Equipment
During winter, you want to keep some extra items in your car, so consider putting a little safety kit together. It can include an ice scraper, squeeguee, Windex, towels/rags, emergency flares and a flashlight. Jumper cables and show chains are also nice to have if you need them.
5. Check Your Heater and Defrosters
Getting an A/C system tune-up heading into winter is worthwhile to make sure everything is working right, especially when it comes to the heater and the defrosters. You want to be able to stay warm and keep those windows defrosted to improve your visibility.
6. Check Your Lights
Keep your headlights, tail lights, fog lights and running lights clean and make sure they are nice and bright. If they are broken or getting dim, replace them as soon as possible. Visibility is a two-way street. Your headlights will help you see better and all your car's lights will help others see you better.
7. Be Smart
In general, it just helps to be smart when driving in winter weather conditions. Days are very short and nights are very long in Fairbanks right now, so pay attention and do whatever you can to improve your visibility. If wearing glasses helps you see better, wear them. Otherwise, follow the tips above.
For all your automotive care needs, including windshield wiper replacements, air conditioning/heating system inspections and repairs, light repairs and more, call Simard Automotive today at (855) 690-0889 (Aeronca Ave.) or (855) 639-5001 (Gaffney Rd.). Or, please schedule your service appointment online.