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Tips for car care in the winter months

By Christina Uptain & Jeff Sigmund
On November 30, 2017

Photo by Jeff Sigmund. Above are some of the items the Iowa DOT 
suggests to include in a winter car kit.

December is right around the corner, which means Iowans are beginning to brace for another visit from Old Man Winter and the official start of the coldest season of the year.

Especially for college students commuting to and from school as well as going home for the holidays, preparing in advance is key to ensuring one’s safety during the unpredictable weather that accompanies travel this time of year. 

The Iowa DOT would like to pass along some reminders and pointers for drivers who will once again brave the elements to go about their daily routines and enjoy the upcoming festivities of the season. 

Hazards take many forms during winter and the decreased amount of sunlight with bitter cold temperatures most certainly do not help in terms of statewide driving conditions that can change in a matter of moments.

Both the DOT website and Bonnie Castillo of the Highway Helper Program stressed that being ready before taking a trip and including a winter survival kit as part of the plan is the most important step. 

“Common sense items such as bottled water, blankets, a change of clothes including socks and dry boots should be included along with jumper cables, extra windshield fluid and wipers and a power supply to allow using mobile devices as needed for emergency situations,” Castillo said.

Iowadot.gov hosts a number of online resources including but not limited to a video that goes over the items and best practices recommended to prepare drivers and encourages Iowans to “expect the unexpected” when it comes to hazards and safety during the frigid and unpredictable months to come. 

The Kirkwood Community College website also provides information about emergency services and campus policies regarding inclement weather as well as a text alert services to utilize technology to keep students, faculty and staff as informed as possible. 

For more information visit  iowadot.gov/maintenance/winter-operations/winter-travel-information.

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