Be Prepared for Winter Driving

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We may not be ready to talk about it, but, ready or not, winter is coming. Apollo Glass reminds you to make sure your vehicle is ready by taking a moment to check over your vehicle to avoid untimely breakdowns, pack a small survival kit to put in the glovebox or trunk, and remember that driving on snowy and icy roads is different that driving on dry pavement.

Winterize your Vehicle

Many auto repair stations offer “winterizing” service in the fall to check the following: car battery, wipers and washer fluid, antifreeze, ignition system, thermostat, headlights, hazard lights, exhaust system, heater, brakes, defroster, oil level, tires and air pressure. Whether you have this done by a certified mechanic or are able to do it yourself, it’s certainly not a bad idea to make sure your vehicle is in proper working order before you find yourself stranded in the cold.

Pack a Survival Kit

Hundreds of Minnesotans do find themselves stuck on the roadside every year. Extreme winter weather can kill someone exposed to the elements in mere minutes. A small container like an empty three-pound coffee can is large enough to hold the necessities. If you take a moment to pack your own, consider including small candles and matches, a small, sharp knife and plastic spoons, a whistle, safety pins, a red bandanna or cloth, pencil and paper, and a large plastic garbage bag. Be sure to include a plastic flashlight and spare batteries. Reverse the batteries in the flashlight to avoid accidentally switching it on and burning it out.

Other things to consider packing for longer trips or routes through rural areas include small packages of food that you can eat hot or cold, jumper cables, basic tools, 30-foot rope/cord, sand or cat litter, tow cables or a chain, shovel, heavy winter coat, snow pants, winter boots and a sleeping bag or blanket.

The Minnesota Department of Transportation offers a Winter Safety Checklist on its website at:

Change Your Driving Habits

In winter weather, drivers may need to change the way they drive to stay safe. Clean frost and snow off of windows, mirrors, lights and reflectors so that you can see and so that others can see you. Don’t forget to brush the snow off the roof of your car so it doesn’t blow off and impair the visibility of vehicles traveling behind you.

When you first start out on snowy or icy roads, take it slow. Accelerate carefully to test wheel-spin and brake gently to test skidding. Use the accelerator and brakes with ease to maintain control of your vehicle. Accelerating too quickly can make wheels spin on ice and snow, and stepping too hard on the brake pedal will lock the brakes and cause a loss of steering control. If you start to slide, ease off the gas pedal or brakes. Steer into the direction of the skid until you regain traction. Then straighten your vehicle. If you have antilock brakes, apply steady pressure. If you slide, try to avoid a collision. You can intentionally steer your car off the road and into a snow bank. You may get stuck, but you’ll avoid a crash.

If you do get into a winter accident, after everyone gets back home safely and you have had time to access the damages, call Apollo Glass. We’ll fix a broken or cracked windshield quickly and get you back on the road in no time. We’ll even work with your insurance company to file the claim and handle the paperwork.

For more information about windshield repair, call Apollo Glass in Buffalo, Minnesota, at 763-682-5100 or email You can also learn more about Apollo Glass and its services by clicking here.

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