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Important Tips for Winter Driving

No one likes the unpredictability of sudden changes in the elements (and other drivers for that matter). But winter is approaching, nonetheless. Along with winter weather comes perhaps the worst part: winter driving. No one looks forward to driving in freezing temperatures, but the following tips will help keep this season a safe and warm one.

But there are ways to prepare now for winter driving. And since preparedness is perhaps the best defense against unpredictable circumstances, it is never too early to think about those icy days ahead.

First, be aware of the weather. This can be as simple as always knowing the predicted forecast for your travels. There are websites and weather monitoring programs that will provide street level detailed weather information that may provide enough information to change your plans and keep you safe. Plan accordingly by always knowing what is ahead.

Second, ready your automobile. Have your radiator serviced this time of year. Be sure to check your antifreeze levels and have lots of winter windshield wiper fluid ready to fire. Other automobile preparations include: checking the brakes, brake fluid, air pressure on the tires as well as tread, heater, battery, and the defroster. Making sure that your car is in good condition could save you a cold, winters night waiting for service on the side of the road.

There are a few other items that should be in your car at all times, in case of an emergency. Such items include: warm clothing including heavy boots, thick socks, a winter hat, gloves and extra clothing, a blanket or sleeping bag, a first aid kit, emergency energy food like granola bars, a working flashlight with extra batteries, a candle and waterproof matches, road flares, booster cables, sand or salt or kitty litter, an ice scraper, a small shovel, a phone list of emergency contacts including doctors and towing companies and your personal cell phone and battery charger.

Lastly, never let your gas tank get more than half empty. During severe cold weather ice can build up in the tank and in the fuel lines. Keeping a full tank is better this time of year.

Winter driving can be menacing, but with an awareness of the conditions and a few automobile preparations we will get through all of the ice, snow, sand and salt that is to come and drive into another beautiful springtime waiting for us on the other side.