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Winter Driving Tips

  • Pack a winter survival kit. The items that you need are most likely already around your house or dorm room. Pack a blanket, warm clothes such as sweats or long johns, gloves, boots and an emergency flashlight. Some people keep a flashlight in their car at all times.
  • Always try to keep at least a half tank of fuel in your car. Although this is a great tip no matter the time of the year, it is critical in the winter. This will minimize your chance of running out of fuel. Also in the winter, any water in your fuel and fuel line has the potential to freeze. With less fuel and more water, the chance of this occurring is greater. Also, as everyone knows, oil and water don't mix. The water could be separated from the fuel, and the chance of fuel line freeze-ups even greater.
  • Keep another driving kit in the trunk. In this kit, you should have an emergency snow shovel, an extra pair of gloves, a snow brush/ice scraper, a spare set of windshield wiper blades, and safety flares or reflective triangles. Flares are easier to see in all conditions, especially in snowy or foggy conditions. However, there is some danger with flares. Check the flares at least once a month to be sure that there is no leakage from them. In addition, the flares are hot enough to burn metal and you could be severely burnt by the flares. Heed all safety warnings provided with the flares.
  • Before leaving to go anywhere, clear all ice and snow off of all glass, front, back and sides, off of the mirrors, the headlights and taillights and off of your license plates. Check your windshield wipers to see if they move freely and make full contact with the windshield.

  • Remember all the things that your learned in driver's ed? Drive in someone else's tire tracks for better traction, but if you see ice, move out of those tracks. If you start to skid, remember, get your foot off of the gas and don't use the brake. Don't make any sudden moves.

  • Remember that bridges and overpasses freeze first. Intersections of roads are a common problem because all of the traffic in that area will pack down the snow and turn it to ice.

  • If you have anti-lock brakes, don't pump the brakes. That'll make your situation worse because you don't have your foot on the brake all of the time.
  • Stay slow. If you go fast, you're only going to hurt yourself and others. Drive safely.