Here in Louisiana, we’re lucky to avoid the harshest parts of winter that blanket other parts of the country for weeks or even months at a time. But cold weather is still a reality for us between December and March, and it doesn’t just affect the roads—it can also affect our vehicles.

Vehicle maintenance is important all year-round, but it’s even more essential during the winter. That’s because cold weather and the essential components of modern cars, trucks, and SUVs are natural enemies. Thankfully, keeping your vehicle running and looking its best this winter is as simple as following the steps we provided in this handy infographic.

Here’s What Not to Do This Winter

Ensuring your vehicle survives the winter in tip-top condition requires taking a few extra steps every year, but it’s well worth the added time and hassle to get to spring without incident. However, there are a few things that it’s equally important NOT to do during the winter to avoid seriously damaging your vehicle, and they include:

  • Don’t use hot water to clear ice off your windshield—Let’s face it—scraping ice off your windshield isn’t anyone’s idea of fun—especially for us Louisianans who aren’t used to doing it. Hot water melts ice almost instantly, but it can also instantly crack your windshield to the point of needing to be replaced.
  • Don’t swerve if you’re driving towards a pothole—Potholes are common after cold weather or even heavy rains. They can range from mild annoyances to seriously damaging. Keeping your eyes focused on the road ahead can help you avoid potholes, but if you don’t see one until you’re right upon it, don’t swerve or slam on your brakes, as doing so can increase your risk of a crash.
  • Don’t drive with a windshield encased in ice—Ice is a rarity in Louisiana, but if it happens here or while you’re traveling, be sure to completely clear it from your vehicle’s windshield and windows before you start driving again. Having limited visibility can be extremely dangerous, and the sun can reflect off the ice, making it even more difficult for you to see the road ahead.
  • Don’t drive during or into winter storms—Winter storms can be severe, and they can shut down even heavily trafficked highways and interstates in minutes, causing motorists to become stranded. Always check the weather before driving, especially while traveling, and stay off the roads if there’s a chance of snow or ice.

In addition, don’t forget to keep up with other routine maintenance tasks such as refilling your coolant, getting your oil changed at regular intervals, checking your lights and replacing burned out bulbs, and making sure your gas tank doesn’t get too close to empty – condensation can form and then freeze inside, damaging your fuel lines.

We’re Here for You After a Winter Accident

Freezing temperatures aren’t terribly common in Louisiana, but they do happen throughout the winter. Because of their rarity, snow and ice can be even more dangerous here than in other states, as most drivers are inexperienced with those conditions.

Protecting your vehicle isn’t your only priority between December and March—it’s also essential to drive safely. And if you or someone you love was hurt in a crash this winter, the New Orleans car accident attorneys at Dudley DeBosier are here to help. Regardless of the time of year, we know that crashes can result in expensive medical bills and lost wages, and it’s our goal to help victims get maximum compensation. Contact us today.

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