Stay safe on the road with these winter driving tips

Yes, the winter season is almost here and this could be someone’s favorite time of the year.

Just to note, we have less than two months before we celebrate New Year’s and I am sure that we want to celebrate it with our friends and family. In order to be alive and well during that time, there are differences between driving during the summer, spring and fall than when driving in the winter that one must take into consideration. Here are some safety tips on how to drive safely for this winter:

1) First of all, check the weather forecast before heading out, especially if you are driving long distances over the Thanksgiving and winter breaks.

2) Clear snow and ice from your windows, side mirrors, lights, hood and roof before driving and drive with your headlights on so that oncoming traffic notice you.

3) You should try to get a proper amount of rest before driving during the winter; do not drive when you are fatigued as this can cause you to nod off at the wheel.

4) Do not warm up your car in an enclosed area such as the garage. Exhaust fumes are deadly and can cause you to pass out. It is better to warm in outside or to open your garage door to allow the fumes an area to go.

5) Always keep your gas tank at least half full to avoid gas line freeze up. This is also good in case you get stuck someplace—you will at least be able to keep yourself warm inside your vehicle while help comes.

6) Do not forget that sometimes the road becomes slippery during snowy and rainy weather, so it is advisable not to use the cruise control during these conditions.

7) Don’t forget to always use your seat belt when driving and be aware of the changes of the weather. Put your full attention on the road.

8) Don’t drive in a hurry. When accelerating or decelerating, do it slowly; the best way to avoid skids and to regain traction is to apply gas slowly when accelerating. Do not power up a hill.

9) It is advisable to stay at home if you do not really need to go anywhere, even if you are good at driving in the snow.

10) Drive slowly; accelerating, stopping, and sometimes turning takes longer on a snow-covered road. Give yourself time to maneuver by driving slowly. Do not try to out drive the weather condition and do not forget that the speed limits posted for dry pavements. This is not the advisable limit during the winter.

11) Look further ahead in traffic than you normally do when driving during the warmer months.

12) Be more cautious when driving on a bridge as they are the first areas to become icy.

13) If your car breaks down unexpectedly or you get caught in a snowstorm, if your car is out of harms way, it is advisable to stay in your vehicle if there is no other shelter around. You can run your car every 10 minutes so as to keep warm, but make sure that your exhaust pipe is clear of snow. Open your car window slightly to avoid carbon monoxide build up if snow blocks your car exhaust pipe.

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