Preparing your vehicle for a snow storm
Being a Seattle snow accident attorney I understand how dangerous the roads can be and would like to offer a few tips to help prepare you for the stormy winter that lies ahead.
- Wiper blades: Make sure your windshield wiper blades are in proper working condition. Your wiper blades should remove all water in its path if they are working properly. You may also consider purchasing winter wiper blades which are made to handle higher amounts of precipitation. You can get these blades at any auto parts store, and they will put the new blades on your vehicle.
- Keep your car in good repair: Make sure your car has been serviced recently. Check your fluids, particularly the anti-freeze. Get your oil changed regularly, and even consider using winter oil in your car which is built to withstand lower temperatures.
- Keep an emergency kit: It should include a flashlight, and flares, non perishable food such as granola bars and extra bottles of water. Blankets and spare clothing are also good to have so you may keep warm.
- Check your tires: Winter tires are essential for the increased precipitation as they provide better traction on wet and slick roads. Use this tire selection guide to help ensure your vehicle is running properly.
- Tire selection guide: I know quite a few of us living in Western Washington use all-weather tires since the weather is typically mild enough to avoid buying a separate set. With this winter gearing up to be wet, cold and stormy, however, I suggest everyone look into the different options available and check their tread to make sure they have plenty of traction on the winter roads.
Believe it or not, winter tires and summer tires are not simply a marketing ploy to make you spend more money. Each type of tire is built differently and functions better in certain conditions. Summer tires have less tread and do better on dry, warm surface, while winter tires have thicker tread and are able to grip wet or slick surfaces. All-weather tires get good performance in many weather conditions, but do not perform well when the weather is at its worst, so you may consider getting a set of winter tires to prepare for the approaching cold.
What level of tread?
The legal tread requirement is 2/32”, meaning you need to have more than 2/32” thickness of tread left on your tire. If you are driving in harsh weather conditions, however, 2/32” of tread is not adequate.For rainy or wet roads at 4/32” of tread you need to replace your tires so you will have adequate traction on the slick roads. On snowy or icy roads you should replace your tires when the tread gets down to 6/32”.
How Do You Measure Tread?
If you don’t have a tire tread depth gauge, some spare change will do just the trick.
Accidents happen. Be prepared. Read our free book.
Driving is one of the riskiest activities most of us will ever do on a day to day basis. It pays to be knowledgable about what to do if you are the victim of an accident. Seattle personal injury attorney Jason Epstein has worked on behalf of auto accident injury victims for a decade and has collected his depth of experience into an easy to read guide, free for Washington State residents, The Truth About Washington Auto Accidents. Learn about the kind of insurance coverage you should ask for, how to deal with insurance adjusters in the event of an accident, and much more. Order online here.