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Get ready for the wintry weather heading this way

Winter is on its way to this area, so now is the time to make sure that you are ready for driving when there is ice, snow or slush on the roads. Being caught unprepared can mean that you are risking your own life and the life of every person around you.

Getting ready for winter driving starts with making sure that your vehicle is prepared for the conditions. It also involves remembering some basic driving tips that can help to keep you safe.

Check the tires, brakes and lights

Make sure that your tires have enough tread for this weather and that they are in good condition. Check the inflation to be sure that it is in the range noted for your vehicle. You will need good brakes to help you stop on the slippery roads, so inspect the pads and other components to ensure they are ready for your adventures. Have someone help you check the lights to make sure they are bright so your vehicle is visible in snowy weather.

Fill up the gas tank

Keeping your gas tank full is a good idea for a couple of reasons. First, it can prevent the lines from freezing when the temperatures plummet. Second, a full tank might be able to keep you warm if you are stuck in a traffic jam or have an accident that requires you to remain in your vehicle, such as sliding into a snowbank. Just remember that you need to clear the exhaust pipe's area if you are stuck and need to use the heat. Doing this helps to prevent carbon monoxide from backing up into the vehicle.

Pack an emergency kit

Getting an emergency kit together can also help if you are stuck in your vehicle. At a minimum, you need to have a blanket, water, nonperishable snacks and a shovel. A more comprehensive kit can also include kitty litter to help you gain traction on snow, a flashlight, batteries, booster cables, winter clothing like gloves and hats, tow chains and a windshield scraper.

Practice safe driving

Remember that you might not be able to drive the speed limit when the roads aren't cleared. Your car and other vehicles need room to stop. Try to stop slowly instead of having to brake quickly. Having to slam on the brakes could cause you to lose control on slippery roads. Give snowplows and other vehicles plenty of room to work. If the roads are nasty, try to stay home until they are in better condition. Additionally, remember car crashes tend to happen since you can't control other drivers.

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Barboursville, WV 25504

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