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Winter Driving

Many weather forecasts predict a more severe winter in parts of our region. As a result, it is always best to be prepared for any type of severe weather. Driving in inclement weather requires proper vehicle maintenance, pre-trip planning, specific driving skills and the correct driving attitude.

Winter Driving Tips:

  • Never warm up a vehicle in an enclosed area, such as a garage.
  • Make certain your tires are properly inflated.
  • Never mix radial tires with other tire types.
  • Keep your gas tank at least half full to avoid gas line freeze-up.
  • If possible, avoid using your parking brake in cold, rainy and snowy weather.
  • Use your seat belt every time you get into your vehicle.
  • For more information, read: How to go in ice and snow

Winter Survival Kit 10-Point Checklist

  • Flashlight with fresh batteries
  • Blankets
  • Booster Cables
  • Ice scraper
  • Small bag of abrasive material, such as sand or cat litter

Be Mentally Prepared

  • Leave earlier for your destination
  • Use main roads or arteries whenever possible
  • Use your knowledge of the area to your advantage
  • Expect traffic to travel at a slower pace

Skidding

  • Avoid using cruise control in wet weather driving conditions
  • Look farther ahead and pay particular attention to "hot spots": bridges, culverts, on and off ramps and elevated highways. Be alert for "Black Ice."
  • Avoid unusual driving maneuvers that could induce a skid
  • If you find yourself beginning to skid, ease up on the accelerator, keep a firm grip on the wheel, and steer in the direction you want the front of the vehicle to go.

Remain Calm

  • Don't let your emotions affect your driving
  • Realize that traffic moves at a slower pace during inclement weather

  • Cloth or a roll of paper towels
  • Small shovel
  • Cell phone
  • Can of de-icer
  • Warning device, such as flares or reflective triangle

Visibility Is The Key

  • Clear off snow and ice from your vehicle before starting out
  • At intersections, pull up farther to increase visibility
  • Switch headlights on low beam to avoid glare and to ensure that taillights are on

Increase Your Following Distance

  • Slow down and increase the distance between you and the vehicle in front of you
  • Add more space as conditions worsen
  • Don't be afraid to shift into a lower gear to reduce speed
  • Observe other vehicles to determine existing road conditions

Common Sense Is The Key

  • Ask yourself the following questions
  • Is this trip really necessary?
  • Is my vehicle ready for this trip?
  • Am I mentally and physically prepared to make this trip?

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