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Winter Driving

Winter Driving TipsMany 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:
  1. 1. Never warm up a vehicle in an enclosed area, such as a garage.
  2. 2. Make certain your tires are properly inflated.
  3. 3. Never mix radial tires with other tire types.
  4. 4. Keep your gas tank at least half full to avoid gas line freeze-up.
  5. 5. If possible, avoid using your parking brake in cold, rainy and snowy weather.
  6. 6. Use your seat belt every time you get into your vehicle.

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

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


  • 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.

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?

Remain Calm

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

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