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4 winter driving tips for safe road travel

Getty Images Author: Canadian Living Credits: Getty Images

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4 winter driving tips for safe road travel

Winter is now here, and with it comes freezing temperatures, slippery roads and snow -- lots of snow. According to a report from Ford Motor Company, drivers in heavy snowfall are just as likely to get in accidents as those driving with blood-alcohol levels of 0.13 (to compare, the legal limit is 0.08). Drive safely by preparing yourself and your vehicle before you hit the road.

Maintain your vehicle. If you take your vehicle in for its regular checkups, including tests for coolant strength and battery charge, you won’t need to make as many adjustments come winter.

Pack a car kit. The Canadian Automobile Association recommends you pack a survival kit for your car. 
It should include road maps, an ice scraper and brush, a flashlight, a first-aid kit and a blanket. They also suggest keeping a fully stocked trunk, with a shovel, sand or cat litter (for traction), extra clothing and footwear, and an emergency food pack. For a complete checklist, visit caa.ca.

Change your wiper blades. Every six months is best. The rubber naturally hardens over time, leaving annoying streaks that hamper your visibility.

Check your tire pressure. And do it regularly -- at least once a month, says Richard Neumann, cross-vehicle line and launch manager with Ford of Canada. "You lose tire pressure as the temperature decreases," he says. Keeping the pressure high ensures your tires make maximum contact with the road.


This story was originally titled "4 Keys To Being A Safer Driver This Winter" in the February 2012 issue.

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4 winter driving tips for safe road travel

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