Prepare now for winter driving

The recent cold snap that has dumped rain – and even snow – on parts of Puget Sound is a reminder that as winter approaches, drivers need to stay safe on the road.

Since automobile accidents account for 70 percent of snow and ice-related fatalities, G.I. Joe’s automotive experts offer tips to help drivers prepare for severe weather condition.

“Preparation and planning for driving in inclement weather can make the difference between a minor inconvenience and a dangerous situation,” explained G.I. Joe’s automotive expert. “Of course, it’s critical to follow National Weather Service guidelines about when to stay off the roads during winter storms. However, sometimes in both urban and rural settings and on highways, freeways or city streets, drivers can get caught in an unexpected storm. We’re encouraging people to take the time now – before major storms are forecast – to equip their vehicles with items that will help them face emergency and winter weather-related predicaments.”

G.I. Joe’s automotive experts offer these tips to help drivers stay safe while on the road during winter weather conditions:

– Check the following items on your vehicle to ensure they are in good working order or adequately filled – battery, antifreeze, wipers and windshield washer fluid, lights, hazard lights, heater, defroster, oil and tires – and replace or have serviced components that are worn out.

– Maintain at least half a tank of gas at all times.

– Dress warmly, wearing layers of clothing in case you must exit your vehicle.

– Keep supplies of the following in your vehicle – flashlights with extra batteries, first aid kit with pocket knife, medications, blankets, plastic bags, matches, extra set of mittens/gloves, socks, clothing, small sack of sand or kitty litter, small shovel, tools such as pliers, wrench, screwdriver; jumper cables; tire chains; brightly colored cloth to use as a flag; whistle; signal mirror; nonperishable food; can opener; and bottled water.