Checklist: Preparing for wintertime driving
By Ashleigh Petersen

Checklist: Preparing for wintertime driving

Before winter weather arrives:

The first line of defense, whether you’re driving your own or a company vehicle, is readying the vehicle for the elements. The following recommendations are offered by AAA, the National Safety Council and ARA Insurance.

  • Be sure your tires are properly inflated.
  • Never mix radial tires with other tire types.
  • Keep your gas tank at least half full to avoid gas line freeze-up.
  • Make sure your vehicle’s antifreeze is capable of preventing the engine from freezing even on the coldest day.
  • Keep your windshield washer reservoir full.
  • Keep your headlights clear.
  • Ice-proof your windows.
  • Fog-proof your windshield.
  • Equip the vehicle with an ice scraper/snow brush and shovel.
  • Consult the owner’s manual for winter driving tips specific to your vehicle, paying close attention of the types of brakes in the vehicle (ABS or not).

Once winter arrives:

The same organizations recommend these winter driving tips:

  • Clear off your entire vehicle — lights, windows, hood, trunk and roof — and turn on your heater and defrost before hitting the road.
  • Decrease your speed.
  • Turn your headlights on low beam so other motorists can see you.
  • Leave plenty of space between your vehicle and the vehicle in front of you.
  • Know if your vehicle is equipped with antilock brakes or not. Consult the owner’s manual for braking instructions.
  • Do not use cruise control when driving on any slippery surface (wet, ice, sand).

Source: RentalU — the American Rental Association’s (ARA) online learning platform. Visit

Ashleigh Petersen

Ashleigh PetersenAshleigh Petersen

Ashleigh Petersen is the digital communications manager for Rental Management. She writes news and feature articles, plus coordinates the monthly Safety Issue and several sections in the magazine. Ashleigh loves spending time with her husband and young son, baking, gardening and listening to true crime and comedy podcasts.

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