(NC) After an uncertain spring and summer, many travelers are deciding to invest in personal vehicles as an alternative to mass transit. To ensure your investment is protected, there are a few things drivers should think about before they hit the open road: It is crucial to be able to see the road. Checking your ability to see well from inside your vehicle is important, especially before temperatures drop. Improve your visibility while driving by examining your wiper blades for any wear and tear, making sure your headlights are functioning and checking your mirrors are correctly positioned. Remember to check windshield washer and de-icer fluid levels. Before it gets too cold, try turning on your defroster to ensure it’s in working condition, especially after limited use during the spring and summer months. The defroster is critical to providing visibility when temperatures drop and frosty conditions begin. A proper-functioning defroster can help remove any fogging or ice that could hinder your view of the road and hazards while driving. Make sure your tires are in good condition for proper traction. Consider changing out to winter tires or have them checked to make sure that there is good tread depth. Proper traction is the best way to maintain control in slippery situations or when the weather turns for the worst. Be sure to update or put together an emergency kit in case you get stranded on the side of the road. Key components of a vehicle safety kit can include a flashlight, flares, bandages, a battery charger for your phone, a blanket, water and even light snacks. If you drive a vehicle that has known motor oil leaks, it’s also a good idea to keep a litre of motor oil in your vehicle in the event you need to top it off.