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By Katelyn Morgan

It is official, winter is here. The severe weather that comes with it can be dangerous and scary for travelers. It is important to be cautious no matter where you are driving this winter, whether it is for the holidays or to and from work. Here are some winter recommendations for driving in snowy and icy conditions:

Driving in Cold Weather:
• Keep a bundle of extra warm clothes, including a blanket in your car.
• Check your tire tread and pressure and your battery.
• Never warm up your vehicle in an enclosed area like a garage, keep the space well ventilated.
• Don’t use cruise control when driving on ice and snow; you need to maintain control of your speed.

Tips for Driving in the Snow:
• When in doubt, wait it out: Staying home is the safest option, even if you can drive in the bad weather. It’s best to avoid unnecessary risks.
• Don’t power up hills: Applying extra gas on snow-covered roads will make your wheels spin. Try to get a little inertia going before you reach the hill and let that inertia carry you to the top. As you enter the top of the  hill, reduce your speed and proceed downhill slowly.
• Increase your following distance to five to six seconds. This increased margin of safety will provide the longer length needed if you must stop.
• If you get stuck, a shovel, tire chains, tow rope, and sand or cat litter: All of these can help you get your car unstuck. And jumper cables are always good to have in your vehicle, too.
• Charge your phone in case you need to call for assistance.

For a complete list visit the State of Massachusetts website about winter safe driving.

Also, always have an emergency kit in your vehicle just in case. Click here, to see what our carrier Safeco recommends.