Safe winter driving

Safe winter driving

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If you live in Colorado, you know that winters can be snowy, icy and cold. Driving in these conditions pose a threat to the driver, passengers and others on the road. To avoid serious and fatal accidents, it is important to respect the conditions and practice extra safe driving during the winter months.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, winter conditions are responsible for 17% of vehicle-related accidents. Snow and ice make the pavement treacherous to drive on, and it takes not only a well-maintained vehicle but also safety-conscious drivers to keep crashes to a minimum. Before the heart of winter arrives, you should get your vehicle checked out to make sure your wiper blades, battery, coolant and tires are in great shape. You should also install snow tires before the first snowfall.

The AAA Exchange says that following basic safety advice, such as wearing seatbelts and getting enough sleep, is extremely important during the winter. Other winter driving tips include:

  • Always keep your gas tank at least half full
  • Drive slower than normal and take extra time to stop
  • Practice threshold braking
  • If approaching an incline, gather a little momentum before getting there and do not stop while on the hill
  • Keep a survival kit, such as blankets, food, flashlight, water, gloves and hat, in your vehicle in case of emergency

If you do get stuck and stranded, stay with your vehicle. Use a bright-colored item high on your vehicle to help others find you. Run the engine minimally to conserve gas, use whatever possible to keep warm and make sure the exhaust pipe is not clogged.