If you haven’t already done some winter preparedness vehicle checks, why not use National Check Your Wipers Day on November 16 as a great reminder to make sure your parent’s vehicle is ready for the upcoming cold, icy, and snowy months (depending on where you live). No matter what winter brings in your part of the country, making sure the vehicle your parent uses to get from one place to another is safe and ready for the changing weather is important. Having a prepared vehicle will help ensure your parent and anyone who rides with them, like yourself or her home care provider, can be free from many worries.
Wipers. Since it’s National Check Your Wipers Day, start with checking your parent’s vehicle wipers. The last thing you want is to have your parent out in a snowstorm with wipers that do not clear away the following snow and ice. Ensuring proper visibility is paramount for driver and passenger safety. Being able to see the roads ahead and the other vehicles is important especially when the weather conditions are bad.
Tires. If ice is common in your neck of the woods, having good treads on your parent’s vehicle tires is especially important to prevent them from skidding and slipping when they try to stop. An easy check is to have their home care provider (or any friend) bring a penny down to look at the tires. Place the penny in the tire groove, with the top of Lincoln’s head upside down. The top of Lincoln’s head should disappear into the tread. If your parent or his home care provider can see the whole head, it’s time for those tires to be replaced.
Battery. Especially if your parent has an older car, it’s best to check the battery before the car is left outside in the cold for a long period and then unable to start back up. Your parent (with help if needed) can check the condition of their battery, starter, and entire charging system with a computerized battery tester. If your parent is uncomfortable with this, many car part stores offer free battery checks at their locations. They hope that if your battery is low, you’ll then purchase a battery from them.
Heater. Most likely your parent hasn’t had to turn on the heater in her vehicle for a while. Don’t wait until they’re stranded somewhere to realize it isn’t working properly. Do a quick test while the vehicle is still at home to make sure they’ll get all the heat they need to keep them warm when they travel around this winter.
Emergency Kit. Take this time of year to review your parent’s emergency kit, making sure it’s stocked with everything they need in case they get stranded somewhere. Some common items to include are a blanket, warm clothes, a flashlight, water, non-spoilable snacks, and booster cables.
Winter is here for some and almost here for others. Keep your parent safe while traveling this winter by making sure their car is ready for the weather.