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3 steps to prepare for driving in winter weather

There is a low probability that Georgia will be hit with snow any time soon. It’s not exactly a common weather problem for the Peach State. However, just because something isn’t probable doesn’t make it impossible – Atlanta was already hit with a major snowstorm this year.

As Georgians prepare for this winter, having a safety plan for driving in snow if the state is hit with a storm will decrease the likelihood of a weather-related injury.

Here are three precautionary tips for if snow comes our way.

1. Prepare a snow kit

You can assemble an emergency kit for poor weather and keep it ready for any potential emergency. Good items to keep in your vehicle include:

  • An ice scraper
  • Warm blankets
  • Cold weather clothing (such as gloves, hats and scarves)
  • Jumper cables
  • Kitty litter – believe it or not, it’s known to help with traction if your wheels get stuck in snow
  • A fully charged emergency charger for your cell phone
  • Flashlight with extra batteries
  • First aid kit
  • Snack food and bottled water

2. Get familiar with winter weather terms

Understand what the severity of the conditions are for each level of winter storm and how to act accordingly. Familiarize yourself with the terms now so you aren’t scrambling or overly stressed if it snows.

3. Plan how to drive in snow and ice

Winter weather makes mobility extra complicated, particularly with a roadway full of drivers unfamiliar with the conditions. If you feel unsafe driving on the road you should avoid it, but that is not always an option - particularly if a storm starts while you are already on the way to a destination.

Take precautions by knowing ahead of time how to drive in storms:

  • Keep your gas tank at least halfway full
  • Slow down to at least half your normal speed
  • Use a low gear as you drive
  • Avoid abrupt steering maneuvers
  • Do not use cruise control
  • Do not pass a truck spreading salt/gravel – maintain at least 100 feet in distance behind the truck
  • Treat any traffic signals that aren’t working as a four-way stop
  • Beware of black ice on the road

Hopefully these precautions will not need to be used, but knowing how to handle snowy weather before it hits will hopefully reduce the possibility of a car accident or other weather-related injury.

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