Surviving Winter Driving

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With the winter season upon us, it is time to get ready for winter driving. We all know winter driving can be extremely dangerous, and even experienced drivers can get into trouble.

According to National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and AAA, there are several steps one can take to protect yourself during winter driving season:

·         Make sure your car is in good mechanical condition – pay particular attention to battery, cooling system, windshield wipers, defroster and tires.

·         Stock your car with items that can be helpful including snow shovel, ice scraper, flashlight, warning devices (e.g. flares and markers), blankets, food and water.

·         Keep your gas tank at least half full.

·         Plan your travel and route – check the weather, road conditions and traffic.

Many driving safety experts offer the following tips in driving on snow and ice covered roads:

·         Slow down!

·         Turn on headlights (low-beam).

·         Apply constant, firm pressure to the pedal with anti-lock brakes. If you don’t have anti-lock brakes, pump the brakes gently.

·         Ensure maximum visibility – remove the snow from the entire car.

·         Be careful on bridges and overpasses – they freeze before other roadways

·         Exercise “Steering into the skid” procedure if you find yourself in a skid – ease your foot off the gas while steering in the direction you want the front of your vehicle to go. Stay off the pedals (gas and brake) until you are able to maintain control of your vehicle.