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- Turn your headlights on anytime you need to turn your windshield wipers on--in rain, fog, sleet, freezing rain, or snow. It will help your visibility--and also help other drivers see you. (It's now the law in Maryland that you have to turn your lights on whenever you need to keep your windshield wipers on.)
- If driving a white car during snow fall or after the snow has fallen, your car may be camouflaged by the snow. So turn on your headlights and make it easier for other drivers to see you.
- In winter, keep an ice scraper with a brush in your car in case it snows or sleets. Also check that you have wiper fluid/de-icer in your car. If it gets messy while you are out, these will come in handy.
- Double or triple the space you normally leave between you and the next car in wet whether. You'll need even more space to stop (up to ten times as much space) on slick roads. For more exact recommendations on stopping distances, check the chart on drive and stay alive site
- Brake gently
- Make sure your exhaust tail pipe is clear if you've had to dig your car out of snow or ice or if you've backed into a snow bank. If your tail pipe is blocked you could get sick or die from carbon monoxide poisoning.
- When driving on slippery surfaces like ice or snow use gentle pressure on the accelerator pedal when starting. If your wheels start to spin, let up on the accelerator until traction returns.
- Check that windshield washer works-you may need it in snow and sleet.
- Watch out for severe weather warnings before you drive. If a strong storm come on while you're on the road and it's raining too hard to see, try to find a safe place to pull over until the worst of the rain is over. If you see a tornado coming your way, safey experts suggest you find shelter or if that's not possible, then get out of car and find a ditch to take cover in, protecting your head and neck. It's hard to outrun a tornado.
- Listen to radio traffic reports and adjust your travel plans accordingly. (from *Drive Right book)
- Keep windows and windshield clear. Make sure wipers are working. (*DR)
- Leave a window open a little bit to keep windshield from fogging up and to give you fresh air. (*DR)
- Watch for danger spots ahead. You've probably heard that bridges and overpasses may freeze before the roads do. (*DR)
- When starting out in bad weather, test your brakes to see how far it takes you to stop. This tip was sent in by someone who didn't do this and ended up wrecking her car. She also called her dad on his car phone to tell him about the accident--and he was so upset, he wrecked his car, too. So her second tip is not to tell your parents that you've wrecked the car while they are driving.
- If you are stuck in ice or snow, try putting your floor mats under the edge of the tires to give them traction.
- Don't use cruise control in wet or slippery conditions. The cruise control may apply more throttle if the drive wheels start to slip.