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January 11, 2011

Winter Weather Driving Tips

by Staff

Winter road conditions present unique challenges to driver capabilities and vehicle performance. According to data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 15 percent of weather-related crashes occur in snow or sleet, and another 13 percent on icy pavement.

Here are just a few safety and preparation tips to keep in mind during winter months.

  • Inspect ¬†Brakes and tires.
  • Inspect battery.
  • Add lubricant to door locks to prevent freezing.
  • Replace windshield wipers and de-icing washer fluid if necessary
  • Add antifreeze.
  • Wear a seat belt and make sure all passengers have their seat belts fastened.
  • Ice forms first on bridges, overpasses and shaded areas. Do not slam on the brakes when driving over ice. Decelerate slowly, holding the car steady.
  • Adjust the speed to fit the weather conditions and remain a safe distance behind other cars.
  • If the car begins to skid, remove the foot from the gas pedal, but don’t hit the brake. Steer gently in the direction the front of the car should go. As the car straightens out, traction and control will return.
  • Keep blankets, a first-aid kit, flares, jumper cables, tire chains, a flashlight, ice scraper and golves in the car. Take a food supply of candy bars or dried fruit.
  • Keep the gasoline level as high as possible to prevent water condensation in the tank.

Visit www.nhtsa.gov for more road safety information.

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