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How to implement safe winter driving tips

Connecticut and other states in the Northeast are expecting major winter storms in the coming week. Drivers who need to be out in the ice and snow should prepare for maneuvering their vehicles in these inclement conditions to prevent collisions with others and in the event they become stranded.

OSHA recommends following the three P's of winter driving:

  • Protect
  • Prepare
  • Prevent

The protection component encompasses basic driving safety procedures, which includes wearing seatbelts and placing children in the back seat. Being prepared is very important in all types of weather, but especially in the winter. Drivers should properly service their vehicles, making sure they contain appropriate tires, a fully-charged battery, new windshield wipers, antifreeze and proper fluid levels.

All drivers should have a winter survival kit in case their car stalls or they get stuck. This kit should include:

  • Blankets
  • Jumper cables
  • Flashlight and batteries
  • Flare
  • Shovel and window scraper
  • Non-perishable food and water
  • Abrasive material such as sand 

Many of the car accidents that occur during the winter are preventable. Drivers need to remind themselves of safe driving procedures in icy and snowy conditions. According to AAA, defensive driving techniques are imperative. Drivers should move below the speed limit and keep a good amount of distance between them and other vehicles. It is also recommended drivers do not stop unless they have to and they should use the threshold braking technique if they need to slow down.

The best advice drivers can heed is to stay home if at all possible. Winter storms cause havoc, even for drivers who are skilled at driving in the conditions, because many people do not practice safe driving tips.

 

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