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Winter – Safe Driving Essentials

Well, winter is here, and it may be a little earlier than we expected, but we’ve got to deal with the harsh weather and prepare for the worst. Winter can be a very dangerous time of year, especially for drivers.  As always, using common sense and defensive driving techniques can help you avoid collisions and keep you safe. Here are some other tips for surviving driving in the winter:

Take your car in for a check up. Have a mechanic check your battery, brakes, and fluid levels. This will help you survive in case you get stranded, need to stop on a dime, and keep your car running in optimal condition. A quick check up be the difference between freezing to death and surviving a winter storm.

Keep you gas tank full. Try not to let your gas tank go below half a tank.  This can help your engine parts from freezing and also help you stay warm if your car gets stranded during a storm.

Look into getting all weather tires.  If you can, install snow tires or all-weather tires to make sure your car gets a good grip on the road.

Be prepared. Keep an emergency kit in your car somewhere (usually the trunk).  It is surprising how many people do not have emergency supplies in their vehicles. Store blankets, extra clothes, first aid kit, flashlight, matches (preferably waterproof), jumper cables, chains, extra food (non perishable) and a tool kit.

Drive safely. This may seem like a no brainer, but many people think they are above bad weather driving and drive too fast and recklessly. Always drive a little slower than you think and allow plenty of space between you and the driver ahead of you for stopping. Don’t slam on your breaks if it’s icy out (pump them), and always keep an eye out for pedestrians.

Review your insurance policy. Go over your car insurance policy and make sure you’re covered. If an accident were to happen because of bad weather, you want to make sure you’ve got adequate coverage and an insurance company that will take care of you quickly during these busy times.

As always, use your best judgement and don’t go outside if you’re not comfortable. Stay inside if you can, and always keep safety in mind.