The weather outside is growing colder. That means a lot of things, not least of which are sweaters, fires in the fireplace, and cranking up the heater.

But it also means safety on the roads.

Car care and careful driving are necessary when ice and snow might be in the forecast on any given week.

Going into December, people should remember to be mindful of their driving and consider having their vehicle serviced.

Assistant Manager of T.O. Haas Tanya Fisher said now is a good time of year for people to check their fluids such as anti-freeze and get their tires checked.

“Make sure you’ve got good traction — tread on your tires,” she said. “Make sure your coolant is where it needs to be for this cold weather — freezing. Make sure your battery’s checked. Also we’ve been telling people it’s a good thing to run a heat additive in your gasoline. Make sure you’ve got good wiper blades and plenty of — what I tell people — (windshield) washer fluid.”

A windshield washer fluid that does not freeze and contains de-icer can save people some grief on the roads in winter.

Vehicles, Fisher said, should be inspected around this time of year to make sure they’re ready for winter.

It’s wise to keep more than half a tank of gas in older vehicles during the winter, because condensation can build up in the gas tank which can ice fuel lines and prevent vehicles from starting when it’s below freezing outside, according to It is said to be able to damage fuel tanks.

Even with a well-serviced car, drivers should still be careful in winter weather.

Driving in icy conditions is dangerous. It might be best to stay home, but that’s not possible for many people.

“Make sure you’re driving slow, not swerving to get out of things,” Fisher said. “Make sure you’re braking properly, leaving enough distance between you and the other vehicle. Be prepared to stop.”

She said people around here don’t need snow tires or chains for their tires. Rather, she recommends an all-season tire which can remain on a vehicle all through the year and is safe to drive on no matter how hot or cold it is.

Fisher, for her part, also keeps a blanket, bottled water and crackers in her vehicle just in case she ends up stranded.

She advises people to consider keeping basics such as blankets, food, water, and jumper cables in her car. People might consider keeping a first aid kit, a change of warm clothes, a coat and a flashlight with fresh batteries in their vehicles when they must go out in winter weather.

“Hopefully you don’t get stranded, but you never know,” Fisher said.

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