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11/9/2012 - Basic winter driving preparation tips

Winterizing cars can help drivers when it gets icy and snowy outside.

Though it may be autumn, it won't be long before falling leaves are replaced by snowflakes and freezing conditions. With this in mind, the Property Casualty Insurers Association of America has released a list of tips for drivers facing the cold weather ahead.

One of the most important things to do is to winterize one's automobile. This can be done by checking on the vehicle's components that require special attention when the weather turns colder, such as its level of antifreeze, that there's plenty of windshield washer fluid and that the tires have pumped up to the appropriate specifications defined in the owner's manual.

Something else motorists should think about doing is to put together an emergency travel kit. PCI notes that items such as blankets and jumper cables can be critical to have when the weather turns frigid, especially if a break down on the side of the road occurs. In addition, it’s wise to include a flashlight, salt to gives tires extra traction and flares that can be used to alert other passengers of where they are on the road if the car malfunctions.

Motorists should also use this time to get in touch with their car insurance provider to review their policy and see if it needs to be upgraded to a plan that covers more scenarios. For example, falling ice and downed tree branches could damage a vehicle, but generally they're only covered under the optional comprehensive portion of an auto insurance plan.

To view all of the winter preparation tips, click here.

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