Hitting The Road This Winter?

Hitting The Road This Winter?


If you’re planning a long road trip this winter, you fully understand that the weather outside can certainly be frightful. Ice, snow, wind, freezing rain and sleet can all conspire to make your trip miserable, a truly hazardous journey if you do not plan ahead.

Saturn Aura“Preparing your vehicle for winter is critical for safe driving throughout the season,” said Denise Champagne, marketing manager, OSRAM SYLVANIA. “It’s important to make sure headlights are a part of seasonal maintenance.”

Visibility is one of the key factors contributing to car crashes as reaction time is reduced. In addition, it can take two to three times longer to stop a car on wet or slippery road conditions, making it all the more important that your car is in top shape before you take it on the road.

For drivers of any age, follow these tips to help maintain safety and improve visibility on the road this winter:

— “Winterize” your vehicle. Change the engine lubricant to synthetic oil, change to winter wiper blades, flush your cooling system with fresh coolant/antifreeze, fill the washer fluid reservoir with de-icer washer fluid and carry an emergency safety kit.

— Drive with your lights on. If daytime visibility is limited, turn on your headlights to be seen by other drivers. When traveling in snowy weather, remember to brush off your taillights, turn signals and headlamps.

— Change headlights in pairs before they burn out. Most headlights dim up to 20 percent over time so evaluate yours every year for optimum performance. The end of daylight savings time is a perfect yearly reminder.

— Upgrade to high performance halogen lighting. SYLVANIA SilverStar(R) ULTRA bulbs are up to 50 percent brighter and increase downroad visibility by up to 40 percent when compared to worn standard bulbs. Studies have shown that whiter, brighter halogen lighting can improve reaction time, increase nighttime visibility and provide better roadside viewing.

— Check headlight alignment. Misaligned headlights can be distracting and dangerous. Ask your auto service technician to align them for you.

— Clean headlight lenses regularly. Wash headlight lenses when you wash your windshield. You’ll see better at night and in poor weather conditions.

— Make sure all vehicle lights are working. Have a friend turn on your headlights and signal lights while you walk around the outside of your vehicle.

— Check your tire pressure regularly. Whether you park inside or outside, you will lose a pound of tire pressure for every 10 degrees of outside temperature change.

— Adjust your speed. By decreasing your speed you allow yourself more time to respond in bad weather.

— Brake carefully. When roads are slippery, brake in a straight line before a curve in the road. Lift your foot from the brake before you steer into a corner. This allows you to steer and not slide through the corner. Don’t accelerate away from the corner until the steering wheel is again straight.

For more tips and information, visit your local automotive retailer or www.sylvania.com/auto.



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Categories: Autos Express

About Author

Matthew C. Keegan

Matt Keegan is a freelance writer and editor as well as publisher of "Matt's Musings", his personal blog. Matt covers campus, consumer, business and financial topics on various websites and blogs, and has been published in the "Houston Chronicle", "Sam's Club Magazine" and "Wisconsin Golfer".