The holiday season is upon us, and so are colder temperatures in many regions of the United States. And with all of the gatherings that occur during this time of the year, travel is up - but road conditions can become hazardous. Because of this, it is wise to be aware of what will keep you and yours safe.

When it comes to slicker road conditions, having a reliable vehicle is a good place to start. For car buyers with damaged credit, getting a reliable vehicle is possible. And having that vehicle is only the first step towards staying safe on those winter roads.

Staying Safe on Winter Roads

Cold and freezing temperatures lead to treacherous roadways. In addition to everyday road safety habits (wearing your seat belt, keeping your eyes on the road), there are some things to especially keep in mind now that temperatures are dropping, making your commute a much slicker affair.

Take Your Time and Prepare
A good thing to do for long trips or when traveling short distances is watch or listen to weather and traffic reports prior to heading out. If possible, delay trips if bad weather is expected. Expect longer than projected travel times as well. Also, avoid driving while you’re fatigued - getting a proper amount of rest before taking on unusual road conditions reduces driving risks.

Know Your Emergency Contacts
Be sure that you have placed all of the essential help numbers in your mobile device so you know who to contact in the event that you get stranded in inclement weather. This includes your insurance company and roadside assistance. Also, checking your route for any hotels or motels could be useful in the event you need a place to wait out a storm. If paying for a room for the night is not an option, see if there are any friends that are on the way to your destination that can offer you a place to stay.

Don’t Panic, Drive Safe
Be mindful of other drivers on the road, and keep a cool head when you’re dealing with slick driving conditions. If you see a car ahead of you begin to lose control, slow your speed and attempt to keep your distance. Also, to ensure you are always in control, refrain from utilizing any cruise control features when traveling on icy or wet roads.

Get the Gear
If you are stranded and there is no way for roadside assistance or rescuers to get to your location, stay with your vehicle. It's easy to get lost if you try to look for shelter on foot. Be sure to keep a flashlight, some extra blankets, water, a phone charger, shovel, warm clothing and some snacks on hand. If you can dig yourself out, do so, but make sure you do not overexert yourself in the process. Other helpful tips:

  • Be sure to dig out around your vehicle's exhaust port. You don't want deadly carbon monoxide fumes backing up into the passenger area.
  • Keep some sand or cat litter on hand to give you just the traction you need to get out of a tough spot.
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  • Have a brightly colored cloth on hand to tie to your vehicle's antenna or hang it out of your window as a distress signal.
  • If possible, run the engine just long enough for the heater to keep your at a safe temperature.
  • If you have the battery power to spare, turn your dome light on if you hear the rescue party so they can locate you more easily.

Is Your Tank Full?
If you end up in a situation where you get stuck and have to wait for help to arrive, you want to ensure that your vehicle has enough gas to run the engine so you don’t lose your heater. Also, a full tank will help prevent moisture from forming in the fuel lines and freezing, which will result in the car not being able to start.

Check Your Tires
Inspect your tires for remaining tread life, uneven wear, and the proper tire pressure. Be sure that the sidewalls are free of cuts, nicks, or bubbling. Double check that your spare is in proper working order too, and that you have all of the tools necessary to change it.

You Need Reliability on Winter Roads

If you need to get a dependable vehicle that can hold up to the cold weather conditions and slicker roads, but are tied down by a bruised credit rating, Auto Credit Express can help. We connect car buyers in tough financial situations with the dealers who will do everything possible to get them approved for auto financing. Complete the simple and fast online application today to get started.