Equipment for Safe Winter Driving in the Sierra

safe winter driving equipment snow chains frank penney

There is no doubt that winter is here. The Sierra snowpack is building, the ski resorts are open, and your skis and snowboards are tuned and ready for the slopes. Sacramento auto accident attorney Frank Penney suggests making sure that your vehicle is equipped before hitting the road this winter.

Winter Driving Equipment to Prepare Your Car

Preparation is everything.  Do you know all the features and products of the vehicle you are driving? Do you have wiper blades that are designed for snow use?  Maintain proper traction and visibility by making sure you have the following items installed before you leave, or on hand and easily accessible:

  • At least one ice resistant windshield wiper frame for the driver side of the windshield. These wipers have a vinyl covering that prevents the moving parts of the frame from becoming fouled with ice and not operating properly. The frame also helps the wiper blades stay firmly on the windshield’s surface to remove slush.
  • Windshield anti-freeze- weather in the Truckee Valley can reach negative 10 degrees. Make sure your anti-freeze mixture is good to negative 20 degrees just in case you hit an especially cold snap.
  • Windshield ice scraper – you need a backup if your wiper blades aren’t enough, especially in the morning.
  • Latex gloves- latex gloves under your insulated gloves will works wonders for keeping your hand warm enough to get your chains on. Otherwise, slush can render your hands useless in as little as 2 minutes.
  • Cable or Chains- If you have the wheel well clearance, opt for tire chains instead of cables because chains have a better grip.

Be Ready When Chains are Needed

Chains or cables are essential for winter driving. Frank Penney, who’s not only an experienced Sacramento auto accident attorney, but also an experienced winter driver, advises to always have chains on hand before attempting to drive in the snow.  They are not always required, but when they are you will need them to proceed.  You can call CalTrans at anytime during your trip if you are unsure if and where chains are needed.

When you lay out the chains or cables, put a short 2×4 block (or something similar) in the space between the middle chain span and drive the rear tire up onto it. This raises the tire off the ground, which allows for easier installation.  Also, pack an old waterproof mat or towel in your vehicle and use it to keep your knees dry as you’re kneeling to put your chains on.

Exercise special caution this winter and prevent personal injury by having a well equipped vehicle.  However, even with the best equipment, accidents can still happen.  If you find yourself in need of a Sacramento auto accident attorney, call Frank D Penney Today.

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