Brett Blume (@brettblumekmox)By Brett Blume

ST. LOUIS (KMOX) – There are steps you can take to make driving in these bitterly cold, snowy conditions less hazardous.

That’s according to the AAA of Missouri, as spokesman Phil Linck is reminding drivers that one of the primary targets of the cold weather is your car’s battery.

“If you battery’s more than 3 years old, I’d definitely think about getting it checked,” Linck says. “Make sure the cables are clean and tight.”

The next thing to check are the engine’s belts and hoses, he says, along with the anti-freeze.

Another critical factor in staying on icy roads is a vehicle’s tires, and Linck passes along this handy tip.

“Make sure your tread depth is at least a 32nd of an inch,” he suggests. “You can take a penny, insert the president’s head in the tread. If you can see his hairline, your tire’s too worn and needs to be replaced.”

That brings up the subject of a spare tire, which Linck says can sometimes be problematic for mini-van or pickup truck owners due to a lack of regular use.

“Make sure you can get your spare tire down,” he explains. “A lot of people with spare tires, they never take them down and when they need to six years after buying the vehicle, they don’t work.”

So test the spare tire mechanism on a regular basis, even during warm weather.

AAA also suggests having a blanket, extra clothing, non-perishable food, road flares and especially a phone charger in case you do find yourself stuck in a snow bank and in need of help at some point.

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