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Winter Driving Tips

  • Use caution and common sense when driving in the winter.  Vehicles cannot stop as fast on icy and snowy roads.
  • When the roads are icy, drive extra carefully.  Reduce your speed.
  • Keep more distance than usual between you and the vehicle in front of you.
  • Avoid sudden steering, accelerating, or breaking movements.
  • Watch for scattered slippery spots, especially on overpasses, bridges and underpasses. These areas freeze first in cold weather.
  • Watch out for black ice, where the asphalt ahead looks black and shiny.   (In winter asphalt is a gray-white color).  SLOW DOWN
  • Keep a shovel, warm blankets, and bags of sand or cat litter in the trunk which can be used in case of emergency.
  • If your vehicle does become stuck and you are unable to free it, run the engine and heat for only short periods of time with the window partially rolled down.  Make sure the end of the exhaust pipe is unobstructed.
  • Stay in your vehicle in case of emergency.
  • Keep the gas tank and windshield washer reservoir full.
  • Make sure wiper blades and snow tires are in good condition prior to the start of the winter season.
  • Clear snow and ice from windows, mirrors, hood, roof, headlights, taillights and trunk.  Use low-beam headlights in snow and fog.
  • When applying the brakes on either snow or ice, avoid locking the brakes.  This allows you to maintain steering control of the vehicle while obtaining maximum braking efficiency.  On vehicles equipped with anti-lock brakes, do not pump the brake pedal -- apply steady pressure.
  • Motorists who change lanes or merge on icy or snow roads should proceed with caution.  Watch out for other drivers.
  • Always wear your safety belt.
  • If you see a large plume of snow or yellow flashing lights, stay back -- it is probably a snowplow clearing the road.
  • Keep telephone numbers for local tow service and/or roadside assistance in case your vehicle becomes disabled or stuck in the snow.
  • Carry a cell phone.  (Remember inactivated cell phones still work for 911 emergencies).
  • In bad weather conditions, don’t travel. If you must travel, let family members or friends know your route, destination, and approximate time of arrival.


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