The first snow storm of the season hit Saginaw at 8p.m. on Nov. 29, causing more than 40 crashes on I-75, according to local reports.
Since Michigan residents will soon face snowstorms as the winter season approaches, local law enforcement, automotive professionals and winter driving experts urge students to start preparing now.
Top 10 Winter Maintenance Tips
1.“Winter tires are going to be your best investment. If you can’t afford winter tires be sure to have the best tires rotated to the rear of the vehicle,” a Discount Tire employee said.
2.“Be sure your tire pressure is correct. Having a low tire may result in losing control since your car can be pulled side to side,” an Atlas Auto and Towing employee said.
3.“If your wipers streak, squeak or leave you in a fog, it’s time to replace them,” an Advanced Auto Parts employee said.
4.“Make sure your windshield wiper antifreeze is full. You should carry around an extra bottle just in case,” said Tim Donaldson, Real Skills Academy Drivers Training employee.
5.“It’s always better to keep your gas tank above half full. If you get delayed in traffic it can prevent you from becoming stranded,” said Ronald Trepkowski, University police chief.
6.“A common issue we see are belts breaking. Be sure to have your belts checked and replaced if necessary,” said Bob Robinson, Firestone Complete Auto Care employee.
7.“Maintenance requirements and specifics such as tire pressure, oil levels, etc. can make a big difference and also vary from vehicle to vehicle. You should always visit a licensed facility to ensure your car is winterized properly,” Robinson said.
8.“Be sure your battery is charged and is putting out enough cranking amps to get you started on those cold mornings,” a Belle Tire employee said.
9.“Learn if your car has a working anti-lock braking system. If it’s broken, get it fixed. If you can’t afford it, then learn how to pump the brakes and correct your steering; otherwise I’ll be the one pulling you out of a ditch,” said Brandon Kaifesh, Troy Auto Care employee.
10.“Buy a pair of jumper cables and learn how to use them, among other do-it-yourself auto repairs. On a cold and snowy morning it’s going to take at least an hour wait for a tow truck,” Kaifesh said.
Top 10 Winter Driving Tips
1.“Slow down and give yourself plenty of extra time to get where you are going. It goes without saying but always remember to wear your seat belt,” said Ronald Trepkowski, University police chief.
2.“Check the weather reports. If there is a big snow storm coming, sometimes it is better to just stay home,” Trepkowski said.
3.“Focus your driving a quarter mile ahead of yourself, not off the hood of your car. This way you have more time to react if something happens out in front of you,” an Atlas Auto and Towing employee said.
4.“Brake and accelerate gently to keep from sliding into others. You should also give yourself at least six seconds worth of reaction time from the car ahead of you,” said Tim Donaldson, a Real Skills Academy Drivers Training employee.
5.“Be sure to clear off your windows. We see numerous students driving around on campus who still have snow covering their cars,” Trepkowski said.
6.“If you live in a more rural area, put together an emergency kit. It should include non-perishable food items, candles, a first aid kit, a blanket and water,” Donaldson said.
7.“Back into parking spaces when you can. It is easier to pull forward out of a spot, rather than back out if you get snowed in,” Donaldson said.
8.“If you under steer (when the front wheels begin to slip and are not turning tight enough), slowly let off the accelerator and the car should correct itself. Don’t slam on the brakes; that will only cause you to slide more,” a Belle Tire employee said.
9.“Slow down and get over when you see emergency vehicles and tow trucks. We are just trying to help you out and do our jobs and not end up as road kill,” said Brandon Kaifesh, Troy Auto Care employee.
10.“If you drive a rear-wheel-drive car or truck then be sure to put some weight over the rear axle to keep from losing control. This isn’t “Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift” and you aren’t Vin Diesel,” Kaifesh said.