Storm Season Safety: Preparing Your Car Before the Storm Hits


As winter weather begins to hit California, the California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services (Cal OES) encourages all Californians to make sure they are storm ready.  

During storm season, heavy rains and snow can lead to dangerous road conditions, especially if a vehicle is not well-maintained. Take a look at these tips to prepare your car before a storm arrives.  

Check your tires.  

Your vehicle’s tires are the first line of defense against slippery roads. Ensure that your tires are in good condition, with adequate tread depth. For wet weather, it’s recommended to have at least 4/32 of an inch for better traction. It’s also important to make sure your tires are properly inflated.  

Replace worn wiper blades.  

Wiper blades are often overlooked until you really need them. Replace your wiper blades regularly to ensure clear visibility in wet conditions. It’s also a good idea to fill up your windshield washer fluid reservoir with a washer fluid designed for rain and bug removal. 

Check your lights.  

Visibility is crucial when driving in wet weather, so make sure all your vehicle’s lights are functioning correctly. Check your headlights, taillights, brake lights and turn signals. Rain and snow reduce visibility and functioning lights help you see the road ahead and allow other drivers to see you. 

Inspect your brakes. 

Your brakes are a lifeline when it comes to safe driving in storm conditions. Have your brake system inspected by a qualified mechanic to ensure they are in good working order. It’s important that your brakes are responsive, as wet roads can lead to increased stopping distances. 

Maintain proper fluid levels.  

Ensure that your vehicle’s fluids are at the appropriate levels. This includes not only engine oil and transmission fluid but also brake fluid and coolant. Properly functioning fluids help maintain your vehicle’s performance and prevent overheating or brake failure in wet conditions. 

Keep your battery in good shape.  

Wet weather can put added strain on your vehicle’s electrical system. Have your battery tested to ensure it’s in good condition. If your battery is old or weak, consider replacing it to avoid getting stranded. 

Pack an emergency kit.  

In case of unexpected delays or emergencies during wet weather, it’s essential to have an emergency kit in your vehicle. This kit should include items such as a flashlight, extra batteries, a first-aid kit, blankets, a portable phone charger and non-perishable snacks. Being prepared can make a significant difference in your safety and comfort during inclement weather. 

Taking simple steps to prepare your vehicle before you hit the road during storm season can make a difference in your safety. A well-maintained vehicle not only keeps drivers and their passengers safe, but also prevents accidents with other vehicles on the road.