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Driving Tips for a Safe Holiday Season

When the first snow falls, it can seem as if every driver around you has never driven in winter conditions before. The drivers who spent all summer risking serious motor vehicle accidents by tailgating, speeding and driving distractedly do not seem to realize that the danger has heightened. Some drivers behave as if their SUVs are unaffected by ice. Others drive act as if they are surrounded by land mines, ready to explode if they make the slightest movement. The increased congestion and reduced control inevitably lead to collisions, injuries and fatalities.

The AAA has released its winter driving tips in an effort to protect motorists when dealing with severe weather. Many of the tips apply to every driving situation, but they are particularly important when driving on snow or ice. Some the tips include:

  • Avoid fatigued driving
  • Look and steer where you want your vehicle to go
  • Make sure your tires are properly inflated
  • Do not mix radial tires with other types of tires
  • Never use cruise control in slippery conditions
  • Take your time in speeding up or slowing down
  • Stay 8 to 10 seconds behind the vehicle in front of you
  • Drive slowly
  • Wear your seat belt

The last tip offered by the AAA is to stay home if you do not have to drive in winter weather. Keep in mind that even the safest drivers are at risk when surrounded by other vehicles. If you have to drive, make sure you understand how your vehicle handles in the snow. If you guess wrong about how quickly your car or truck will stop in the snow, make sure the penalty for that guess isn't a rear-end collision.

By paying attention and driving defensively, you can protect yourself and others in bad weather. Check out the link below to learn more about the AAA recommendations for winter driving and have a safe holiday season behind the wheel.

Source: AAA, "Winter driving tips," November 2011

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