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Some reminders for driving in wintry conditions

The "Game of Thrones" reference is that "winter is coming," but in many respects, it's already here. Temperatures have been very low in the Kansas City area recently, a trend that is consistent with what the rest of the Midwest and the northeast has felt in the past week. While many people are lamenting the fact that ice and snow are on the way in short order, the fact of the matter is that such conditions will arrive. And when they do, many people will have to drive in them.

With such slick and nasty conditions, it's a good time to remind drivers to be especially cautious out on the road during icy or wintry weather so as to avoid an accident.

There are a few things that you can do to protect yourself during these conditions. The first is the most effective: don't drive at all. If you can help it, you should avoid driving during (or immediately after) a snowstorm or icy conditions.

But, if you have to drive, then take these precautions:

  • Give yourself some extra room in front of you to ensure you stop in time.
  • When you apply the brakes, do so gently so that you minimize the chance of sliding.
  • If you are going up a hill, keep your vehicle in a lower gear so that you maintain traction.
  • Be especially cautious when driving down certain roads, such as bridges, side-streets or infrequently traveled roads.
  • Remember the basics, such as always having your lights on and keeping your headlights and windshield clean.

Source: Weather.com, "Driving in Ice and Snow," Accessed Nov. 14, 2014

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