Winter car care crutial for safety in Upper Peninsula

Georgette Breen-Naylor

Living in Upper Peninsula, winters can be tough on driving for students. Winter car care knowledge is important having the proper necessities in order to be cautious and safe.

According to Lt. Don Peterman, crime prevention and policing specialist, whether driving, walking or biking during the winter season it’s important to be prepared  for the cold temperatures winters in the Upper Peninsula bring.

“Having your vehicle serviced, oil changed and a service inspection are excellent ways to prepare for winter,” Peterman said. “For example, belts, lights, tire pressure and snow tires.”

According the Peterman, it’s also important to make sure to have the proper travel items in case of emergencies. Some of these items include a shovel, jumper cables, flashlight and extra clothing with some other important items including food, flares and handwarmers.

Peterman advised leaving early and giving extra time when roads appear icy or it’s snowing.

“Leave the extra room between you and other vehicles ahead of you,” Peterman said. “Slow down early when stopping at stop signs and intersections will help avoid accidents.”

Peterman saidwhen a vehicle begins to skid, take your foot off the gas, ease the steering wheel towards the direction of the skid and prepare for a counter skid in the opposite direction and remember to look in the direction you want the vehicle to go.

“There is a rise in the number of accidents in the winter time because people tend to drive too fast for the current conditions especially in parking lots,” Peterman said.

Sarah Tullila, TKO Automotive office manager said she sees an increase in repairs during the winter season.

“Always check your battery, tires, wipers and coolant throughout the winter months,” Tullila said. “Replacement batteries and tires are the most common reason for winter services.”

There are different things students can always check and replace if necessary to prepare their car for the winter months, Tullila said including having a coolant flush and oil changes.

Motorists are not the only ones who have to take precautions when out in the winter time. According to Peterman, Pedestrians and cyclists  also have to take precautions as well when out in the winter weather.

Peterman said it’s important pedestrians dress properly for the current weather conditions.

“Wear warm clothing to guard against the frigid elements,” Peterman said. “Good boots, hats and gloves cover exposed skin in extreme wind chill weather to guard against skin damage, especially frostbite.”

It is also wise for pedestrians to use the sidewalks when possible and to walk against traffic so to see the cars and stay out of the roads.

Peterman said have a headlight and obey all rules of the road riding a bike has the same responsibilities as a motor vehicle.

As a student biking, walking or driving to destinations across Marquette it is important to be safe and remember always to leave early and give enough time to get to  the destination.