Residents of many areas in the U.S. can expect winter to bring harsh weather and rough road conditions. This is why, if you live in one of these areas, it is important to make sure that your car is fully prepped for winter driving.

Many of the things that you can do for your vehicle when the weather turns cold will be helpful throughout the year. And remember that snow and ice aren't the only things you'll need to watch out for when the temperature drops.

Tips to Ensure a Safer Winter Driving Season

Every season presents unique challenges for drivers. But, depending on where you live, winter can be the toughest to navigate. When the weather turns brutal, even a normal commute can make you feel like you're doing battle with nature.

That's why, when it comes to car maintenance, you need to give yourself every possible advantage. Paying extra attention to certain parts of your vehicle will make a big difference in how well you're able to stay safe in the face of winter driving dangers.

Have Your Battery Tested

Car Battery Testing

Having to deal with a dead car battery is never good, but it's even worse when it's cold outside. Of course, you should regularly have your battery checked throughout the year. But it is absolutely necessary to do this at the start of winter.

Honestly, the last thing you want is to be stranded somewhere on a snowy road with no heat. However, you can easily avoid this kind of situation by visiting a service center and requesting a free battery check. You should also have your battery tested in any season before taking your car on a long trip.

Don't Skimp on Washer Fluid

Even though washer fluid only costs a few dollars a bottle, some drivers still try to cut corners by using water instead. This is always a bad idea, but especially in winter. First of all, water won't clean your windshield as well as washer fluid. And, secondly, water can freeze and destroy the fluid reservoir.

You may even want to invest in a winter formula. This specialized washer fluid has been formulated to quickly melt snow and ice and possibly save you some scraping time.

Watch Out for Small Animals

Squirrels, mice and other small animals may try to take refuge under your hood, where it's nice and warm. This is a problem because these little critters can chew through your car's hoses and damage parts of the engine as well.

An easy way to prevent your vehicle from becoming a rodent hotel in the winter is to hang mothball-filled netting under your hood. As long as you keep the mothballs away from the windshield wiper area, the smell shouldn't get into the interior.

Watch Out for Big Animals

In the U.S., most deer-vehicle crashes occur from November through January. If you live in certain areas of the country, it is very common for deer to dart out onto the road. You will often have little warning, and, depending on the time of day, deer can be hard to see until it's too late.

The best way to prevent a deer collision is use extra caution when driving at night or in rural areas. If your car is equipped with a collision avoidance feature, this will also be helpful.

Resist the Urge to Use High Beams

In addition to snow and ice, early morning fog can be a winter driving hazard. And when fog descends, some drivers immediately turn on their high beams. But this actually makes the problem worse. High beams, in reality, are reflected back by heavy fog, and visibility is reduced.

On the other hand, if your car is equipped with fog lights, these are ideal to use when fog threatens visibility. These lights are designed to project light down the road, illuminating roadside lines, barriers and other objects.

Finally, if you don't have an emergency roadside kit, now is a good time to put one together. No one likes the idea of breaking down, but it's good to be prepared in case the worst happens. If you're not sure what to include in your kit, you can purchase one that is pre-assembled. Or, you can take a look at what's included in the kits offered online and then go and create your own.

Auto Financing for Winter Driving and Beyond

If you know that you'll have a safer winter if you replace your current car with a newer, more reliable model, Drivers Lane can help you get financing. Or, if you've never purchased a vehicle before, we can assist in making your first car buying experience faster and easier. You may, in fact, be able to buy your car with little or no money down.

Even if you have bad credit or no credit, we can match you with a dealership in your area that can work with your situation. And, best of all, our service is absolutely free and comes with no obligations. You have nothing to lose by filling out our simple and secure online application. So, go ahead and get started today.