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Car Maintenance >> Fall-Winter

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Tips for Staying Safe on the Road this Winter

(ARA) – We all know accidents happen – and they happen more frequently in bad weather. According to the AAA, loss of visibility, slick roads and poorly maintained brakes lead to thousands of accidents every year, and the highest number of weather-related injuries and fatalities occur during the wet and snowy months of winter. But there are precautions you can take to help prevent accidents, and to be prepared, just in case.

First, make sure your car, truck or SUV is well maintained and in good working order. Here’s a checklist of things to inspect:

* Will your car battery make it through the winter? If not, replace it now so you’re not stranded in bad weather when your vehicle won’t start.

* Check all fluids and replenish if necessary.

* Change your windshield wiper blades if your current ones are worn or UV damaged. You want to have good visibility during the season’s rain or snow storms.

* It’s a good idea to add weight to your trunk or your truck bed for better traction. For pickup trucks – and there are more than 38 million registered on U.S. roads, according to latest U.S. Census Bureau statistics - a great solution is a Line-X Spray-On Truck Bedliner. The liner adds about 50 pounds of weight to deter rear wheel skids, and provides lifetime protection against the rust and corrosion that can form quickly in winter weather.

* Be certain the heater and defroster are working properly.

* Check to see that all lights work and headlights are properly aimed.

* Check tire tread depth and tire pressure; consider special tires if snow or ice are a problem in your area.

It’s always good to be a defensive driver, but it’s especially important in inclement weather. Good winter driving depends on using common sense and adjusting your driving to weather conditions:

* Slow down on bridges and overpasses, which freeze first. Avoid sudden changes of speed or direction as you drive over them.

* Look out for other danger zones while driving, like intersections, hills and curves. Reduce speed and watch for other drivers who may be skidding.

* Keep your speed steady – avoid sudden stops or accelerations. Use your brakes cautiously. Even though many cars and trucks now have anti-lock brakes, a heavy foot on the brake pedal can cause you to lose control of your steering.

Finally, keep emergency supplies in your vehicle. Here’s a list of some items that will come in handy if you’re stranded:

* A basic tool set, including jumper cables and a flat tire repair kit.

* A fold-up shovel in case you get stuck.

* A windshield ice scraper.

* Sand or kitty litter in a waterproof container to place under tires for traction on snow or ice.

* Blankets and hand and body warmers.

* A first aid kit.

* Non-perishable food like candy bars, energy bars or nuts.

These tips and a little common sense will keep you and your family safe on the road this winter.

For more information on Line-X Spray-On Truck Bedliners, or to find the dealer nearest you, visit www.linex.com or call (800) 831-3232. Line-X has over 500 locations across the United States.







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