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Arctic weather impacts your car. Let’s see how to stay safe on Montana’s roads this winter.

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Posted at 10:03 AM, Jan 18, 2024
and last updated 2024-01-18 12:03:53-05

GREAT FALLS — With winter finally upon us in Great Falls, it is time to start thinking about driving safety. Based on traffic data from the NHTSA, Montana ranks as the 5th most dangerous winter weather driving state in the US. Even worse, Montana is very rural, meaning that you may not get help for a long time depending on where you are in the state.

Are you prepared for safe winter driving? Find out with our checklist below:

Tire Pressure: Cold air condenses, and this means that as the temperature goes down the pressure in your tires will go down along with it. Be sure to check your tires regularly to keep the air pressure at manufacturer suggested levels. Not doing this simple step could result in poor fuel economy, loss of traction, and even a tire blow out at high speeds leading to an accident.

1. Jumper cables: Cold weather isn’t just hard on tires. Batteries get weaker in the cold and your vehicle may not start well if at all. Having a set of jumper cables or a battery pack could mean the difference between having to abandon your vehicle on the side of the road or not.

2. Reflectors: If you do have tire or other mechanical issues then make sure to pull off safely and use either flares or reflective triangles to show oncoming traffic where your vehicle is.

3. Emergency kit: These are easy to find at any autoparts store and will provide most of what you need. Reflectors, blankets, jumper cables, even emergency food can be found in these kits.

4. Tools: You may need to change your tire, reattach a hose, or change a battery on the side of the road. A basic tool set and some practice means that you can get your car back on the road and into a auto mechanic as soon as possible.

By taking precautions with these winter weather driving tips you may be able to prevent yourself from becoming part of the statistic on Montana roads.