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Winter is coming: 5 tips for safe driving

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Drive safely this winter with these tips.

It’s almost that time of year: the temperature is dropping, hot chocolate is brewing, and holiday music is playing in every store. The winter season can be full of excitement and wonder for people of all ages. But as much as relaxing by the fire throughout these frigid months may seem “so delightful,” we need to remember that the weather outside can also be very frightful.

When winter weather hits, most people would love to cozy up in a warm blanket and stay home all day. But unfortunately, many of us still have places that we are expected to be. When it’s necessary to drive through those not-so-fun winter conditions, the tips below can help you get to your destination safely:

1. Get your car serviced. No one wants their car to break down in the middle of the road during any season, but especially not in chilly, winter weather. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration recommends that you visit your mechanic before the start of the season to check for leaks, badly worn hoses, or any other replacements or repairs that are needed.

2. Check your battery. When the temperature outside drops, so does battery power. It takes a large amount of energy to start your battery in cold weather, and the system often works better when warmed up. You should be sure to check your car battery before the start of the season and either replace it or conduct repairs on it if necessary.

3. Keep your gas tank at least half full. The last thing that you want to worry about while driving in a storm is filling up your gas tank. If you get stuck in a traffic jam or in the snow, you may need more gas than you expected. It’s best to be prepared, just in case. Keeping your tank full also helps to avoid gas tank freezes in frigid temperatures.

4. Accelerate and decelerate slowly. The turtle wins the race in rough weather. AAA states that pressing the gas pedal slowly to accelerate is the best way to regain traction and avoid skidding. Don’t try to move in a hurry, and take time to slow down before you stop at a light. It’s very important to remember that it takes longer to slow your car down when roads are icy.

5. Keep distance from the car in front of you. The normal following distance that you space between your car and the car in front of you should double in winter weather conditions. This provides a safer space if you need to stop your vehicle quickly.

In truly severe weather, the best safety tip is to stay off of the roads completely. If it’s necessary for you to drive in winter conditions, following these guidelines could help keep you and the cars around you safe during the storm.

Have you been injured in a winter weather-related car accident? The experienced personal injury lawyers at Thomas J. Henry are available 24/7 to hear your case. Contact them at 877-978-1740 or www.thomasjhenrylaw.com for a free consultation.

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