Colonel Ann C. Assumpico, Superintendent of the Rhode Island State Police and Director of the Rhode Island Department of Public Safety, encourages all motorists to make sure their cars are ready for winter, which officially begins today.
Preparing vehicles in advance and knowing what to do when road conditions deteriorate due to weather can help motorists arrive safely at their destination.
Here are some tips to make sure your vehicle is ready for the elements:
• Make sure you have enough gas in the tank to prevent gas lines from freezing and to avoid running out of gas if you are unexpectedly caught in traffic.
• Check your windshield wipers and replace worn blades.
• Top off your windshield wiper fluid. You will need it to help clear your windshield of salt, dirt and snow.
• Make sure your tires are properly inflated. Also, check the treads and replace the tires if worn to provide better traction and control in winter driving conditions.
• Have your battery checked, especially if it is several years old. The age of the battery and freezing temperatures can affect its performance and ability to start your car.
It also is important to keep emergency supplies in your car, including a flashlight, ice scraper, jumper cables and a mobile phone charger. Having warm clothes, blankets, hats and gloves also are a good idea in case you get stuck in the cold or snow.
Colonel Assumpico also reminds all motorists to avoid distractions while driving, especially when road conditions are poor and require your full attention.
In addition, never drink and drive. The use of alcohol and drugs impairs perception, judgment, motor skills and memory – skills that are critical for safe and responsible driving.
Colonel Assumpico encourages all motorist to drive safely and responsibly this winter and always. If you see someone driving erratically or in an unsafe manner, call 911.