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Tips for driving in snow

WASHINGTON – Driving in snowy conditions is never fun, no matter how experienced a driver is.

AAA Mid-Atlantic offers these tips for driving in snow:

  • Make sure your gas tank is full.
  • Slow down in snowy and icy conditions.
  • Don’t drive in heavy snow, unless it’s completely necessary.
  • Ask yourself, “Is this trip really the wise thing to do?”
  • Dress warmly, in case you get stuck.
  • Carry a cellphone in case you break down.
  • Tell someone where you are going and when you expect to arrive.
  • Before starting your car, make sure the tailpipe is free of snow.
  • Carry a snow emergency kit. (See what should be in it below.)
  • Use major routes that have been treated.
  • Slow down. Stopping distances are 10 times longer in heavy snow.
  • Avoid slamming on the brakes.
  • Don’t pump the brakes if you have an anti-lock brake system.
  • Avoid changing lanes.
  • Don’t use cruise control.
  • Don’t pass snowplows and spreaders. Make room for them.
  • Don’t spin your wheels. You’ll only dig in deeper.
  • Don’t panic during a skid. Steer in the direction you want the front of the vehicle to go.

Make sure your car has an emergency kit. Here’s what AAA recommends you put in it:

  • Cellphone
  • Blankets/sleeping bags
  • Flashlight with extra batteries
  • First-aid kit
  • Drinking water
  • Extra clothes
  • Sand or cat litter for traction
  • Shovel
  • Scraper/brush
  • Jumper cables
  • Tool kit
  • Flares or orange triangles
  • Knife
  • Towels
  • High calorie, non-perishable food

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