Winter driving: Be ready for the worst, hope for the best

Winter driving: Be ready for the worst, hope for the best

Tips to keep you safe through the snowy season
Christine Szudzik
Prepare your car for the winter

Winter driving is a lot like going to the dentist: it can be scary, you’ll do anything to avoid it, and sometimes there’s no escaping it. But just like brushing and flossing, there are preventative measures you can take to make winter driving less painful – and safer.

Before the snow really starts to fly, schedule a car checkup at a AAA Approved Auto Repair shop. You’ll get peace of mind – and 10% off labor costs with your member discount. Ask the mechanic to check your battery, windshield wipers, antifreeze levels, ignition system, lights, brakes, heater, and defroster.

Consider upgrading your tires. Winter tires are recommended for drivers who live in areas where it snows frequently – and that’s us. Winter tires are specifically engineered to provide better traction in ice, snow, and slush. They’re a good investment, especially if you’re an essential worker who can’t take a snow day. Regardless of the type of tires you have, you’ll want to make sure that they are inflated to the recommended tire pressure – cold weather can decrease the pounds per square inch in a tire.

Picture being stuck in your car for hours during a storm, with nothing to eat but a loose French fry you managed to find between the seats. If that sounds less than ideal, make yourself a winter car safety kit. You’ll want to pack items like a first aid kit, flares, matches, reflective triangles, a flashlight with extra batteries, warm clothing, blankets, a cell phone charger, bottled water, and non-perishable snacks. A shovel and ice scraper can really come in handy to clear a path to your car or clear ice from your windshield.

Yes, winter driving can be scary, but we’re from Western and Central New York! We’ve got this. And always remember AAA’s number one winter driving tip: if the roads are treacherous and you don’t have to go out, just stay home!


Did you know AAA offers free battery tests for members? A technician will test your battery and can replace it on the spot if you need a new one. Plus, AAA Members get a $32 discount on a new AAA Battery replacement. Initiate a roadside service request on the AAA Mobile app, at, or by calling (800) 222-4357.

Car Battery Service