Obviously there’s much to love about winter in Belleville: the dazzling lights at the Shrine of Our Lady of the Snows, the Belleville Santa Claus Parade, The Christkindlmarkt in Downtown Belleville, and yet we’d like to offer some winter driving advice. In our line of work, offering towing and roadside assistance in Belleville, Il and surrounding areas, we know that no car breakdown – especially in Winter – is ever good.

Here are some approaches to driving in Winter that can help.

Stock Up Your Car Before You Drive to Chriskindlemarkt

The Christkindlemarkt is located on the square in downtown Belleville, IL. You’ll have a great time browsing the cute giftable German-themed goodies for sale. If you’re the designated driver, enjoy a German beer or Gluhwein.

But before you go: It’s always a good idea to make sure you have anything you might need in an emergency in each of your cars before you leave. Take this list to Ace Home Brite and stock up with supplies. Flashlight, Batteries, Ice Scrapers, Rope, Rock Salt, Blankets, Hats and Gloves, Water and Food, Phone Charger. If you rely on medicine, it’s always a good idea to have some packed away, just in case.

Work Your Winter List BEFORE You Visit Santa

For over a century, it’s been a tradition to head to Downtown Belleville, window shop from the sidewalks, enjoy the lights and groups of happy shoppers, and stop by Santa’s house on the Square. Children stand in line to talk to the jolly old elf and whisper their wishes into his ear.

But before you go: Make a list of all the items that should be given some attention on your vehicles and avoid sliding on bad tires or a dead battery. Tires are always at the top of the list. It’s literally where the rubber meets the snow. Pick up a tire gauge at the auto parts store and maybe pick up some new wiper blades. This might be a good week to drop your car off at the mechanic to get that heater fixed, and possibly replace those old tires. While he’s at it, having him inspect your battery and change the oil and coolant.

Think Safety if You’re Heading to the Shrine

The experience of enjoying the lights at the Shrine of Our Lady of the Snows is a Belleville and even St Louis area tradition. Get in the line of cars, turn off your headlights add a little Christmas music on the stereo and cruse through a constellation of magical lights. Don’t forget to bring a little cash to tip at the end of the experience. It helps the Shrine carry out their mission of serving Belleville.

But before you go: Get your head together. Winter driving adds several elements of challenge to the experience of driving.  Mentally prepare by deciding to allow extra travel time, when it’s cold outside be cool behind the wheel. Don’t tailgate, leave room to stop. Don’t let yourself be distracted by your phone or the hustle bustle of the holidays. Watch the road! Take it slow. And, if what you thought was a clean, dry road turns out to be a strip of black ice, don’t panic. Take your foot off the gas and the brake and don’t overcorrect. Let the car coast to a stop and you’ll be better able to keep control. So much about not only surviving but enjoying the holidays has to do with remaining calm!

Review the Rules Before Going To the Santa Claus Parade or the Cookie Stroll

Every year Belleville welcomes Santa Claus with his very own parade on Thanksgiving morning. This year, take a break before you pop the turkey or the Tofu in the oven and head to downtown to cheer him and local school bands as they parade down Main Street. Enjoy the Cookie Stroll. Buy your tickets on the Belleville Main Street website.

But before you go: Now is a good time to talk to young drivers. Winter offers an opportunity to discuss preparedness and responsibility. Share a little of that parental wisdom. There’s no need to mention or try to explain anything about the donuts in the Kmart parking lot. It never happened. And remember to always use love to gift wrap any and all driving advice.

Plan Ahead Before Taking A Ride In A Horse Drawn Carriage

Free horse-drawn carriage rides are a fun thing to do in Downtown Belleville. There are various trolly stops along Main Street, and it’s fun to listen to the clop-clop of hooves as you wave at happy shoppers and diners in the many Belleville restaurants!

But before you go: Print and share this page with any friends who you would like to attend any of these wonderful events with in Belleville, Illinois. And, remind them to review at the winter driving safety tips as well! If you need roadside assistance near Belleville, give Paule a call at: (618) 233-7464

Paule Towing in Belleville, IL wants to wish everyone a joyous holiday season filled with good friends, good food, and good times. Be safe out there!