Be prepared as winter weather hits

Published On: Dec 24 2013 01:31:35 PM CST   Updated On: Nov 04 2013 08:13:40 AM CST
Winter Driving Tips

As the mercury drops, AAA sees more people stuck on the side of the road.

"That's when I become and angel," said Marvin Clemans, from AAA. "I come out and save the day."

Clemans said there's ways drivers can save themselves the trouble. Like making sure their car battery is in good working shape before temperatures go below 32 degrees.

"Extreme cold is hard on the battery," he said. "When it's 32 degrees or below, your battery operates at 70% capacity. You may notice it's cranking slow in the morning, you hear a clicking sound and then it starts, and of course the age of the batteries. Most in this part of the country will fail in 3-5 years."

When the roads become snow packed, icy or slushy, your tires could be the difference between staying on the road or ending up in the ditch.

"Icy roads or say you got slushy snow or west roads, it could cause hydroplaning," Clemans said. "You need plenty of tread to grip that road as you go down the highway."

You can have a local mechanic check them out or feel around your tread for a bump called a "tire wear bar". If your tread has worn down to that point, it's time for them to be replaced.

When driving on wet roads, you'll want to make sure your wipers are in good shape and your washer fluid is full.

And of course, always protect your most precious cargo. Your kids.

"We see at least 75% of the seats that were not installed correctly here and our misuse rate is a little higher than that," said Ronda Lusk, coordinator for Safe Kids. "It's little things that parents may not be aware of."

Lusk said some common mistakes parents make are not tightening harnesses or straps enough to properly secure the child and not completely buckling the seat back in after you take it out.

"We want to make sure every child is in a car seat until at least four years of age and then a booster seat after that," she said. "One of the biggest things parents forget is we want kids to be rear facing until at least two years old or have out grown the weigh and height requirements of the seat."

Here's a car seat safety check list from Safe Kids.

  • My child always rides in a back seat and never in front of an airbag
  • Everyone in my car buckles up on every ride using the right car seat, booster seat or seat belt for each person's age and size
  • My child's car seat has all of its parts, labels and instructions and has never been in a crash
  • I follow the instructions for my car and my car seat so that my child is buckled in right
  • I never leave my child alone in the car
  • If I have any car seat questions, I know I can contact Safe Kids USA

If you'd like to have your car seat checked for safety you can make an appointment by calling 316-689-5700. Via Christi and the fire department team up to do two car seat checks each month

For more winter driving tips from AAA click here.