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In Michigan we've experienced an on-again off-again flurry of snowstorms in the past few months. The first one that happened around Thanksgiving left the roads pretty slick and there is likely to be similar weather on the way. It's always a good reminder to make sure both you and your car are ready for dangerous road conditions before driving around in the snow, sleet, or ice.

First, if you haven't already gotten your car up-to-date on its regular maintenance, make sure to do this. In addition, make sure to inspect your tires. Particularly, make sure your treads aren't worn out and that they are properly inflated. If your tires are worn out, consider investing in a good set of all-season tires or dedicated winter tires. Other tips for preparing your car for the winter include:

  • Check your battery: test your battery to make sure it is strong. The last thing you want is to be stranded on the road because of a dead battery. If your battery is nearing the end of its life, replace it now so you won't have to worry about it later.
  • Replace your windshield wipers: between the snow, ice, salt, and overall grime, winter is hard on wipers. Sometimes wiping them off with a paper towel and window cleaner will do the trick, but consider buying a good quality pair if that doesn't help.

In addition to preparing your car, you also want to ensure that you are prepared for driving in the hazardous conditions. Always make sure to clean your windshield, other windows, and roof of snow and ice before hitting the road. Additionally:

  • Accelerate slowly to avoid slipping tires.
  • Reduce your speed and don't follow other cars in front of you too closely. Similarly, start braking sooner than you normally would.
  • Don't ask your car to do too many things at once–for example, don't brake suddenly and try turning at the same time. Brake early on and then complete a turn.
  • Be prepared for a slide. If the back end of your car starts to slide, ease off the accelerator and turn the wheel in the direction of the slide. This should straighten the car out.

Overall, be aware of other motorists around you–they might not be as careful as you!

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