Gearing up for snowy, icy driving

We saw our first measurable snowfall for the season here in Toledo Sunday, and that means winter driving conditions are here.
Published: Nov. 23, 2020 at 6:59 PM EST
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TOLEDO, Ohio (WTVG) - Prior to Sunday, our last measurable snow happened in mid-March. That’s 7 months without snowy roads. So, now’s the time to get back in the mindset of driving in our favorite Ohio season.

Chris Barbara is the Vice President of Sales with Cooper Tires, headquartered in Findlay. He tells 13abc, “Most of the time, the biggest issue with winter driving is that their vehicle isn’t prepared for it.”

So, now is the time to get ready. And that starts with the only part of your vehicle that actually touches the roadway: your tires.

Barbara explains, “Tire pressure is commonly understated in the winter because people don’t have enough pressure because everything contracts in the cold weather.”

Tire tread affects how well you can maneuver on icy roads. And it’s easy to test. “Take a penny, turn it upside down and stick it in the grooves of the tread,” says Barbara. “If you can see any of Lincoln’s head, you probably need to get new tires.”

And the type of tires makes a difference, too. Think all-weather, or winter tires. Barbara tells 13abc, “What those tires have is a specific compound, design, and construction to allow you to move through winter weather most effectively.”

Now to the inside of your car or truck: “You should have some sort of vest or signifier, including flares as some of the kits have, that can help you identify that you’re a vehicle off to the side. A lot of times, what happens in these accidents, people get hurt again because they’re outside their vehicle and they’re not protecting themselves.”

AAA reports that half a million crashes happen nationwide every winter during bad driving conditions, regardless of traffic.

Barbara explains, “A lot of folks think that, well the roads will be lighter this year because of the pandemic. The reality is, it doesn’t matter how many people are on the road if we have wintry conditions. You still have to stay safe.”

Barbara offers how you should prepare for a crash that renders your car undrivable. He says, “Sometimes during these wrecks, the vehicles won’t operate, and you don’t want to lose heat for an extended amount of time.” So, he suggests packing an extra set of warm clothes, and an emergency kit.

AAA lists other safe driving tips here:

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