Winter has hit Texas, and though Tyler weather isn't nearly as icy as the weather in New York or Canada, it's important that you understand what the risks are when you drive in winter. As the weather gets cooler and drops below freezing, you put yourself at a greater risk for an accident if you drive. For those going on road trips outside Tyler, you might be unfamiliar with the weather conditions and precautions you must take to drive safely. These five tools can keep you out of trouble this winter.
1. Ice Scraper
Perhaps the most obvious, it is surprising how many people attempt to drive with obstructed windows. It is actually against the law to drive if you have your windshield or headlights covered and unable to be seen through, but sometimes people do not have the tools to rid themselves of the ice. Have a plastic ice scraper handy so that you are ready for winter.
Winter brings in longer nights and shorter days, so the light availability is smaller. If you have an accident or car trouble there's a good chance it will be after the sun has set. Keep a working flashlight in your car or a headlamp that will allow you to use both arms to fix troubling car problems. These light sources provide a safe setting to clear up car trouble such as flat tires, engine problems, or even to check damage from hitting another object.
Snow chains give car tires extra traction so that you travel in snow or ice without fail. Snow chains are not the same as snow tires and can be installed on-the-go as the weather gets messy. They are installable by most drivers and cost under 50 dollars on average. Even though Tyler rarely sees enough snow to warrant these chains, sometimes they are necessary if you take a road trip outside the city and leave Texas altogether.
4. Portable Cell Phone Charger
You phone doesn't have an unlimited battery--it is likely going to run out of battery on your way somewhere, especially if you take an out-of-state trip. Often you will want to call your insurance company, 911, or a towing service if you run into trouble, however, so it can help to have some power left in your device. Make sure to bring a cell phone charger that plugs into your vehicle and keep your phone charged (at least 20%) at all times.
5. Jumper Cables
You don't want to have to flag down another car to help you start your own, only to realize that neither of you has jumper cables. Make it easier and safer by simply supplying your own set in the event that your battery dies.