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Winter Traffic Natick, December 5, 2016Before you travel during cold weather, be prepared!

Check MassDOT’s tips for preparing your vehicle for winter driving and carrying important winter car supplies in your vehicle.

Preparing your vehicle for winter driving

Keeping your vehicle in top operating condition is especially important to avoid any inconvenient or unsafe situation while traveling in frigid weather. Check the following:

  • Ignition system
  • Fuel system
  • Belts
  • Fluid levels
  • Brakes
  • Exhaust system
  • Wiper blades and windshield washer fluid
  • Snow tires
  • Tire tread and pressure
  • Defroster
  • Proper grade oil
  • Cooling system
  • Battery
  • Lights
  • Antifreeze

Always fill the gasoline tank before a long trip or even for a short distance. Stop to fill-up long before the tank begins to run low. In addition:

  • Clear all windows and lights of frost and snow.
  • Drive with your headlights on.
  • Stock your car with basic winter driving equipment: A scraper and brush, small shovel, jumper cables, tow chain and a bag of sand or cat litter for tire traction. (See Winter car supplies below.)
  • Also include road flares, a blanket, heavy boots, warm clothing, and flashlight with batteries.

Winter car supplies

Keep winter car supplies that can assist you in case of an emergency. Here is a list of items to consider carrying:

  • Booster cables
  • Two or more blankets
  • Snow shovel and scraper
  • Flashlight and extra batteries
  • Extra clothing: cap, mittens, parka and overshoes or boots in case you have to walk for help.
  • High calorie, non-perishable food like candy and canned nuts.
  • Sand or strips of carpet for traction.
  • Extra windshield washer fluid and antifreeze
  • Flares or reflectors
  • Cloth/paper towels
  • Piece of bright cloth

For more information, we invite you to review MassDOT’s Safe Winter Driving Tips.

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