Safe Winter Driving Checklist

Safe Winter Travel Guide


There is nothing better than spending time with family during the holiday season. Driving far distances to visit family is a common occurrence during this time of the year. However, due to the weather and heavy traffic, it is important to be extra careful and take the necessary precautions to ensure a safe arrival to your destination. Here are a few items you should address regarding your vehicle before you hit the road this holiday. Download our complete check list at the bottom of this article!

Replace your Windshield Wipers

During the winter months, particularly in regions that experience heavy snow fall, working windshield wipers could be the difference between arriving safely and not arriving at all. Bad weather conditions contribute to almost 20% of all auto accidents and poor visibility is a common culprit. Driving in heavy snow, sleet or rain is often hard even with effective windshield wipers, let alone ones that are dried and cracked.  Before you set off this holiday season, make sure you replace your windshield wipers or at the very least buy a backup pair to have on hand. Like our mother's always said "better safe than sorry!"

Brake Pads

Next to windshield wipers, brake pads are the second more important item to check before leaving the house on a long car ride. Adverse weather will put additional demands on your brakes. While total brake system failure is relatively rare, accounting for less than 5% of accidents, poor brake pads can make it hard to stop quickly. Throw in slick road conditions and impatient drivers and you have a recipe for disaster. Bad weather, poor functioning brakes and distracted drivers is all it takes for a fender bender to turn into a pile up. Don't put a dent in your holiday travel plans and risk the safety of your family.  Before the weather gets too harsh, it is a good idea to have your brake pads checked. If your pads are worn out, then replacing them is vital in order to stay safe during winter travel.

Service Check-Up

Aside from required oil changes, it is a common practice to preform regular service check-ups on your car. Service check-up frequency varies from car to car. You can read over your car manual to find the recommended amount. Even if you have had your car serviced with in the last six months, traveling long distances is nothing to joke about. Depending on the region you are traveling through, long distances can wreak havoc on your vehicle, especially those with 200,000 miles or more. Before doing any serious traveling this winter, take your vehicle in to have the oil, tire pressure, antifreeze, and anything else checked that could affect your travel. Nothing ruins the holiday spirit more than braking down on an unfamiliar highway in the dead of winter.

Be Prepared For an Emergency

Not all travel safety tips for the winter involve your car. Because of the cold temperatures and potentially dangerous weather, it is important to be prepared for any emergency situation. Along with your luggage, be sure purchase a roadside safety kit and pack extra water, snacks, blankets, flashlights, and anything else that could come in handy during an emergency. In addition, map out your route beforehand and let a friend or family member know your plans. 

 These are just a few of the main items you should be checking for starting any holiday travel. Utilize our full check list below to ensure you covered everything!

Safe Holiday Travel Vehicle Check List