It’s getting to be the most wonderful time of year again, but that also means that the weather will be less and less enjoyable, along with the added risk of automobile accidents in harsh conditions. Take a moment to review what you need to know to keep you and your family safe for this 2011 Winter.

Driving in Winter Conditions:

1. First and most importantly, give yourself plenty of extra time to get to your destinations. Stopping and starting needs to be slow in order to keep control of the traction on your tires. Skidding is one of the leading accidents during wet, snowy weather.
2. Leave more space between you and the car in front of you. Even if you are prepared, the driver in front of you may not be.
3. Do not speed up a hill. As you reach the top, reduce speed as you will obviously move faster going downward.
4. Keep your windshield and lights free of snow. Leaving snow on that will land on the car behind you and may affect their vision.
5. Turn on your lights for better visibility.
6. Do not use cruise control on wet/icy/snowy roads.
7. Always keep your gas tank at least halfway full to avoid freezing when nearing the end of a tank.
8. Know the roads. If you know where you can avoid hills and sudden stops, you can plan the safest path possible.
9. If you don’t need to be out, don’t. Just because you know what you’re doing doesn’t mean everyone else on the road will be as prepared.

Getting Stuck in Snow:

1. Do not spin tires, as this will only get you deeper.
2. Turn your steering wheel from side to side a few times to push snow out.
3. Shovel snow out of area if necessary, and place a type of traction aid around tires such as gravel, sand, etc.
4. Lightly press the gas to gently move your car out.

Stay safe, warm, and happy this winter!