Consider keeping these items in your vehicle:

1. A blanket or extra clothes

2. A candle with matches

3. Snacks

4. Beverages (never alcohol)

5. Flares

6. C.B. radio, cellular phone or hand radio

7. Long jumper cables

8. A small shovel

9. A flashlight

10. A windshield scraping device

11. A tow rope

12. A bag of sand or cat litter for traction

» During winter months, keep abreast of weather reports in your area. If snow or ice is predicted, make plans to leave early or arrive later. An alarm clock set to an earlier time can be a good friend in helping you avoid difficulties.

» If you can move a night trip to daylight hours, do so. Not only is visibility better during daylight, but if your vehicle is stalled, you are more likely to receive prompt assistance during the daytime.

» Before you shift into gear, plan the best route to your destination. Avoid hills, high congestion areas and bridges if possible.

When you drive:

» Adjust your speed to the current conditions. When driving in challenging conditions, decreasing your speed will allow more time to respond when a difficult situation arises. Factors such as the type of vehicle you are driving, the quality of tires your car is equipped with, and your abilities as a driver should be considered in the speed adjustment. Remember that posted speed limits identify the maximum speed allowed when weather conditions are ideal. Law enforcement agencies can write citations to motorists driving the posted speed limit if weather conditions warrant a slower speed.

» Anticipate difficult situations. Studies have shown that 80% of all accidents could be prevented with only one more second to react. In many situations, this one second can be gained by looking far enough down the road to identify problems before you become a part of them. Be more alert to the actions of other drivers. Anticipate vehicles coming from side streets and put extra distance between your vehicle and the one in front of you. If someone is too close behind you, don’t speed up; slow down and let them go around you.

» Use grip effectively. When roads are slippery, use all of the grip available. Brake only before the curve when the car is traveling straight. Taking your foot off the brake before you steer into the curve allows you to use all of the grip available for steering. Don’t accelerate until you begin to straighten the steering wheel when exiting the turn. This technique will allow you to be 100% effective at each maneuver. In many situations, better grip or traction can be gained by placing the outside wheels toward the shoulder of the road, out of the ruts in the center. The difference in traction can unbalance the car during the transition from rut to shoulder – so be alert.

» Maintain a comfortable driving environment. A constant flow of cool air will help keep you alert, and keep the windows clear of frost. Keeping one window slightly open will allow you to hear sirens and other warning sounds more quickly. When driving, avoid large bulky boots, gloves and coats, and never drive in ski boots.

» Turn on your lights. When daytime visibility is less than ideal, turning on your lights allows you to see, and to be seen by others. Remember this rule of thumb. Wipers On – Lights On.

» When driving at night, leave your head lamps on low beam when driving in snow or fog. This practice minimizes the reflection and glare, improves visibility, and reduces eye fatigue. When oncoming cars approach, focus on the right side of the roadway to help maintain good night vision.

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