How to safely drive in wintry conditions

7:28 PM, Dec 28, 2012   |    comments
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The best advice for driving in bad winter weather is not to drive at all, if you can avoid it. When you do travel, allow extra time to reach your destination.

If you must drive in snowy conditions make sure your car is prepared and you know how to handle road conditions. Keep these tips in mind when driving in adverse weather conditions. 

Keep your vehicle in good working condition. Make sure the windshield washer fluid is filled, windows are clear of snow and ice, wiper blades work, and you are driving on tires with good tread.

Reduce your speed. Speed limits are set for optimal, dry driving conditions. Stopping and turning are adversely affected by slick or icy roads. Remember officers can stop and ticket drivers going too fast for roadway conditions, even when driving at or below the posted speed limit.

Leave extra space between vehicles. The rule of thumb is to leave one car length for every ten miles per hour between vehicles for optimal driving conditions. During adverse driving conditions, significantly increase this distance.

Brake and accelerate lightly. Fast braking and accelerating can put the vehicle into a slide/skid. Brake gently to avoid skidding. If your wheels start to lock up, ease off the brake. Use extra caution in turns.

Give snow plows plenty of room to operate. Don't pass snow plows and sanding trucks. The drivers have limited visibility, and you're likely to find the road in front of them worse than the road behind.

Avoid making last minute decisions.

Don't assume your vehicle can handle all conditions. Even four-wheel and front-wheel drive vehicles can encounter trouble on winter roads.

Regardless of weather conditions, please leave space between you and the vehicle in front of you and be ready for sudden stops or hazards. Remember, "safety is no accident."

(KUSA-TV © 2012 Multimedia Holdings Corporation)

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