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Winter Driving

January 17, 2012

Winter weather is upon us. Some of us face driving in icy and snowy conditions that happen once or twice a season. Others, such as residents in upstate New York can expect snow in November. And, in Colorado, winter driving conditions can quickly change from sunny to blowing snow within an hour or two. Regardless of where you live, be prepared at all times, but especially in winter. Here are a few tips:

The best advice for driving in bad winter weather is not to drive at all.

Allow yourself extra time to reach your destination.

Slow down! Drive for conditions – slower speeds, slower acceleration, slower steering, and slower braking in winter conditions.

Watch for black ice, especially on bridges, overpasses and in
shadowed areas.

Turn off the radio and stay the off the cell phone.

Leave extra room between your vehicle and the vehicle in front of you — the larger the vehicle, the longer the stopping distance.

Don’t use cruise control when traveling in winter conditions.

Make sure your tires have good tread – consider good snow tires.

Don’t go out until the snow plows and sanding trucks have had a chance to do their work.

Scrape ice and snow from every window of the vehicle. Also, carry plenty of windshield wiper fluid as liquid de-icers may stick to your windshield.

Slow down and be extra cautious near the chain-up and removal areas. There are often people out of their vehicles.

Be prepared. Have a scraper, snow brush, coat, hat, gloves, blanket, first aid kit, flashlight, tire chains, matches and nonperishable
food in your car.

It goes without saying that you should have your car regularly checked by your mechanic. If you live is areas with regular snowfall, schedule annual winterizing in advance of the first snow. One last tip: it’s helpful to practice winter driving techniques in a snowy, open parking lot, so you’re familiar with how your car handles. Consult your owner’s manual for tips specific to your vehicle.

Additional resources can be found at the following sites:

Firestone Auto
The Weather Channel
Washington State Department of Transportation

Safe and Happy Driving.  Follow us on Twitter and Facebook.

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