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FLEET INFO HUB - Tips on winter drivingMuch of the country gets snow and ice every year. Even those parts of the country that are not used to it occasionally get hit with a snow or ice storm. The Federal Citizen Information Center offers several suggestions that can help you get your vehicles through the winter. Weíve combined their suggestions with some of our own.
Winterize your VehicleMake sure everything is in working order before the tough winter season starts. Winterizing your vehicle in the fall can prevent problems in the middle of the winter.
Keep your Gas Tank FullA full tank will resist freezing up. The extra weight can help with driving on snow. Also, if you get stalled youíll be able to stay warm. Experts suggest that if you get stalled, to run the car for about ten minutes every hour to stay warm until help arrives. Make sure the exhaust pipe is clear of snow and not blocked to avoid carbon monoxide poisoning.
Put Extra Weight in your CarWhile extra weight can decrease fuel efficiency it can also help tires find their traction on snow. The lighter the vehicle the more prone it is to slide easily.
Make sure your Windshield Washer Reservoir is FullIn the winter a carís windshield builds up dirt very fast. Sometimes it can be hard to see out the window and it needs to be washed off repeatedly. Having enough washer fluid will help make sure the view is clear.
Drive at a Safe SpeedPosted speed limits are for ideal conditions. Any time those conditions change, whether from fog, heavy traffic, snow and ice, rain, or other conditions, your speed should be adjusted to account for the current conditions.
Keep a Safe DistanceGenerally, one car length for every ten miles an hour is suggested for a safe stopping distance between cars. But in bad conditions there needs to be extra distance as your tires will not grip on snow and ice the way they will on pavement. Back off, donít tailgate, and arrive safely.
Keep a Blanket and Other Supplies in your VehicleHopefully youíll never stall out in a blizzard, but it happens. Having a winter survival kit in your vehicle can save your life. Some of the items that can be included are blankets/sleeping bag, extra outerwear (including gloves and hats), jumper cables, chains, flares, kitty litter (for traction), tools, shovel, antifreeze and other fluids. These days cell phones can be life savers. Some people keep enough materials in their cars to survive several days if necessary.
While nobody can prepare for every possibility following the guidelines above should help you get through the winter season without too many difficulties.
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