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How to Drive Safely During Winter

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Depending on where you live, this winter may have been a bit milder than you typically experience, but that doesn’t mean that snow and ice won’t make an appearance over the coming months. Whether you’re driving for personal or church-related reasons, it’s important to follow some basic advice to help lower the chances of an accident.

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Preparing for winter

• Test your car’s battery to make sure it doesn’t need to be replaced before colder temperatures
• Install winter tires on your car to help increase traction, or inspect the tread on all-purpose tires
• Check the tire pressure since colder temperatures can reduce it
• Check your wiper blades and replace if needed
• Add wiper fluid rated for -30 degrees
• Keep your gas tank at least half full to help prevent gas lines from freezing

Before driving

• Clean your vehicle’s mirrors, external cameras, and sensors to help ensure assistive-driving features work
• If possible, warm your car up before driving to help melt snow and ice and help ensure it’s running properly
• During severe weather, reconsider if your plans are truly necessary in order to avoid risks

During driving

• Drive slowly to account for lower traction when driving on snow or ice
• Accelerate and decelerate slowly to avoid skids
• Increase your following distance to help prepare for when you must stop.
• Don’t stop going up a hill to help avoid sliding down it

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Emergency supplies

In addition to the standard supplies you should keep in your car year-round (jumper cables, first aid kit, flares, etc.), there are some additional supplies you should consider keeping in your vehicle in the event you break down or get stranded in winter weather.

 

• Battery-powered radio, flashlight & extra batteries
• Blanket or sleeping bag
• Snow shovel, snow brush, and ice scraper
• Sand or non-clumping cat litter to help with traction
• Bottled water or juice, and nonperishable high-energy foods
• Extra clothing, boots, hats and gloves

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