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Winter Driving Tips

When leaves begin to fall . . .
  • Refill antifreeze
  • Check your brakes
  • Replace wiper blades
  • Check your battery
  • Refill washer fluid
Be Prepared!
  • Before you leave, check the forecast and let someone know your route of travel
  • Keep your gas tank at least half full to prevent gas line freezing
  • Tires: chains provide the most traction followed by studded tires (legal October 1st through May 1st) and regular snow tires
  • Carry a winter survival kit which should include: blankets, flashlight and extra batteries, a brightly colored cloth, sand (or a bag of cat litter), shovel, candle and matches, non-perishable high calorie foods (nuts, raisins, and candy bars), newspapers (for insulation), a first aid kit and jumper cables.
If you should become stranded:
  • Don’t leave your car - it’s the best protection you have!
  • Tie a brightly colored cloth to your antenna.
  • Roll down a window a small amount.
  • Keep the exhaust pipe free of blockage to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning.
  • Leave the dome light on at night to aid search parties.
  • Don’t panic - an idling car uses only one gallon of gas per hour.
Drive According to . . . Road Conditions
  • Allow extra time to get where you’re going
  • Clear all windows of ice and snow
  • Remove snow from hood, roof and lights
  • Slow steady starts prevent needless spinning of the wheels
  • Pavement is twice as slippery at 32° as it is at 0°
  • Beware of bridges, underpasses, overpasses, shaded areas and intersections where ice is slow to melt
  • Slow down - it increases traction
  • Avoid abrupt stops and starts – slow down gradually and keep wheels turning to avoid getting stuck
  • Use low beam headlights to decrease glare from ice
  • Wet pavement can cause hydroplaning at speeds as low as 35 mph - wheels may lose contact with the pavement causing a skid or spin
Drive Defensively!
  • Wear your safety belt at all times
  • Don’t tailgate -- always leave a safety cushion of at least two car lengths per 10 mph you’re traveling
  • When braking on ice apply gentle but firm pressure without locking brakes
  • Watch for pedestrians - poor visibility and slippery conditions provide hazardous walkways and crossings
  • Anticipate others’ actions
  • To regain control during a skid, release brakes and gently steer the car in the direction of skid
Please Remember . . .
  • Adding weight to the back of your vehicle may alter its handling capabilities.
  • Don’t decrease tire pressure to increase traction. The only thing this increases is wear on the tires!

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