Winter driving safety tips dealing with snow and ice

Friday, February 13, 2015

Driving in the winter weather means snow, sleet and ice that can lead to hazardous road conditions, slower traffic, hot tempers and unforeseen dangers.

To help you make it safely through winter, Greencastle City Police suggest some recommendations from the National Safety Council to make sure you and your vehicle are prepared.

The best advice for driving in bad winter weather, police say, is not to drive at all, if you can avoid it.

Don't adventure out until the snow plows and salt trucks have had a chance to clear the roadways. Allow yourself extra time to reach your destination.

If you must venture out into the snowy conditions, make sure you have winterized your car and that you are familiar with driving on snow- and ice-covered roads.

In driving in snow and ice, authorities recommend:

1. Decrease your speed and leave yourself plenty of room to stop. You should allow at least three times more space than usual between you and the vehicle in front of you.

2. Brake gently to avoid skidding. If your wheels start to lock up, ease off the brake.

3. Turn on your lights to increase your visibility to other motorists.

4. Keep your lights and windshield clean.

5. Use low gears to keep traction, especially on hills.

6. Don't use cruise control or overdrive on icy roads.

7. Be especially careful on bridges, overpasses, and infrequently traveled roads, which will freeze first. Even at temperatures above freezing, if the conditions are wet, you might encounter ice in shady areas or on exposed roadways like bridges.

8. Keep your gas tank at least half full in case of becoming stranded.

Above all, winterize your car by taking your vehicle to your local mechanic and have them winterize your vehicle for you.

They will check tire pressure, tread depth, battery condition, and all fluids to make sure your vehicle is in good running conditions for the winter weather.

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