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Winter driving tips

Jan. 25, 2013 @ 11:07 AM

The Huntington Highway Safety Office offered the following tips for driving during the winter:

KEEP UPDATED: Always check upcoming weather reports. If freezing temperatures are likely, plan to leave early for your destination,

FOLLOW THE SPEED LIMIT: Drive at safe speeds. Don't assume you can drive the posted speed limit. Remember: Ice and Snow….Drive Slow,

BE CAREFUL WITH BRAKES: A light touch on brakes and steering are most important. Be sure you know how to recover from a skid on ice/snow,

CHECK ANTIFREEZE: Check your antifreeze before the freezing weather gets here. Inadequate anti-freeze levels can leave you stranded with an overheated engine or a frozen radiator,

CHECK TIRES: Check Your Tires. Make sure they are properly inflated and that you have adequate tread for driving in the snow,

FILL WINDOW CLEANER: Fill your window cleaner reservoir. Be sure you will be able to clean your windshield when necessary. When you arrive at your destination, remember to turn your wipers off and not stopped on the windshield. If they freeze to the glass, you might damage the blades when you restart the vehicle,

STAY HYDRATED: Be sure to stay hydrated. Drink plenty of water. Dehydration is a major factor in cold weather so carry plenty of bottles of water in the passenger compartment (they can freeze in the trunk),

WATCH YOUR EATING: Snacks or high sugar drinks might be acceptable for a short trip, but if you are going to be miles away from populated areas sandwiches, fruit or a thermos of hot stew are much better choices for a longer emergency,

PLAN YOUR ROUTE: Plan your route in advance and make sure to tell some friends or family members what routes you are taking and what time you anticipate arriving,

PREPARE AN EMERGENCY PACK: For longer trips, prepare an emergency pack for your vehicle. It should include the following: cellphone; ice scraper and brush; tow rope; cat litter (for use as a traction aid); blankets; a good flashlight; portable weather radio a can of lock de-icer; candle and matches (for heat and melting snow for water).

REST STOPS: Make plenty of rest stops. Tired drivers often make poor driving decisions. Five minutes of walking will be a big help. Be sure not to drive if you are so tired you find yourself nodding off. Stop and get some real sleep. Coffee and caffeine will not counteract sleep deprivation,

CLEAN: Clean your headlights and brake lights every time you stop for a rest.

STAY WITH YOUR VEHICLE: If you do get stuck too far from the road to be seen, it's best to stay with your vehicle. Freezing air and wind child conditions can be deadly. Keep the exhaust clear of ice and snow so carbon monoxide doesn't build up in your vehicle. You will likely be able to safely use the motor for heat,

SEAT BELTS: Always wear your safety belts when in the vehicle (moving or stationary). You may be an excellent winter driver, but the other driver might not be,

STAY AWAY FROM ALCOHOL: Don't drink alcohol. Alcohol in your system will increase skin temperatures making you feel like you are warmer, but that comes at the cost of lowering vital organs. Alcohol and cold weather can be a very deadly combination.

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