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What to do, and not do, when driving in the winter PDF Print E-mail
Written by Sentinel-Tribune Staff   
Friday, 03 January 2014 10:43
With snow and ice making roadways difficult, the Wood County Sheriff's Office has issues a series of winter driving tips:
•    Drive slowly. Everything takes longer on snow-covered roads. Accelerating, stopping, and turning - nothing happens as quickly as on dry pavement. Give yourself time to maneuver by driving slowly. Most of the issues encountered during slippery conditions are from drivers going too fast.
•    Use your seat belt every time you get into your vehicle.
•    Always look and steer where you want to go.
•    Do not use cruise control when driving on any slippery surface.
•    If you become snow-bound, stay with your vehicle. If provides temporary shelter and makes it easier for rescuers to locate you. Don't try to walk in a severe storm. It's easy to lose sight of your vehicle in blowing snow and become lost.
•    Make sure that the exhaust pipe isn't clogged with snow, ice or mud. A blocked exhaust could cause deadly carbon monoxide gas to leak into the passenger compartment with the engine running.
•    Accelerate and decelerate slowly. Applying the gas slowly to accelerate is the best method for regaining traction and avoiding skids. Don't try to get moving in a hurry. And take time to slow down for a stoplight or stop sign. Remember, it takes longer to slow down on icy roads.
•    The normal dry pavement following distance of three to four seconds should be increased to eight to 10 seconds. This increased margin of safety will provide the longer distance needed if you have to stop.
•    Know your brakes. Whether you have antilock brakes or not, the best way to stop is threshold braking. Keep the heel of your foot on the floor and use the ball of your foot to apply firm, steady pressure on the brake pedal.
•    Turn on your lights to increase your visibility to other motorists.
•    Keep your lights and windshield clean.
•    Be especially careful on bridges, overpasses and infrequently-traveled roads, which will freeze first. Even at temperatures above freezing, if the conditions are wet, you might encounter ice in shady areas or on exposed roadways like bridges.
•    Never warm up a vehicle in an enclosed area, such as a garage.
•    Never mix radial tires with other tire types.
•    Stay home. If you really don't have to go out, don't. Even if you drive well in the snow, not everyone can. Don't tempt fate: If you don't have somewhere you have to be, watch the snow from indoors.

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