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Winter will be here soon: Get ready for driving

The colder temperatures are ushering in wintry weather. Even when there is snow and ice on the roadways, life must continue. This means that you need to get ready for driving on snowy roads so that you are able to do so when the time comes.

Getting ready for winter driving doesn't start when you turn the key in the ignition. Instead, the preparations start long before then. Here are some things to check before you head out in the winter:

Check your vehicle

You need to make sure that your vehicle is ready for traveling. You should check all the basics that you would normally do all year long. These include the brakes and lights, but you have to go far beyond that.

You need to make sure that you have good windshield wipers that can handle snow and ice. Heavy duty ones are ideal. You also need to make sure that your windshield wiper fluid is full. Ideally, you will have something with a de-icer in it. Make sure that you put an extra bottle in your vehicle since you can use a lot of fluid in one snowstorm.

Check the tread on the tires. Having bald tires on snow and ice can lead to slipping. You need to have tread that can grip what surface is available. This means you have at least 2/32 of an inch of tread on each tire. While you are doing this, check the inflation of the tires.

Get your emergency supplies

You need to be prepared to deal with winter weather away from home. Pack a shovel to remove snow from around the tailpipe or dig your vehicle out of snow. An ice scraper, blankets and water are also necessary in these conditions. Toss a set of jumper cables in the vehicle in case your car's battery needs a boost.

Drive safely

Make sure that you aren't in a rush when there is snow on the roads. You need to take your time. Remember that acceleration and braking might take longer because of the road conditions.

You should also give clearance for snow plows to work. These vehicles can't always remain in a single lane, so pay attention to what the driver is doing. Giving them clearance can also help you to see while they are working. The snow clouds that they throw can impact your vision.

Even if you are safely driving on the wintry road conditions, other people might not be able to do the same. There is a chance that you will be in a crash. Taking care of yourself and getting medical care are imperative if this happens.

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