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How to drive safely when winter weather strikes

As one of our New Jersey readers, you know that winter weather can move into your area at any time. Just because the temperature is above freezing today doesn't mean this will last forever.

For this reason, you need to know what it takes to drive safely when winter weather strikes. While there is no way of knowing what you will face when you're behind the wheel, here are some tips that can keep you safe:

  • Slow down. In dry conditions, a following distance of three seconds is enough for you to feel safe. However, when the roads are wet, you need to allow for stopping time of eight to 10 seconds.
  • Avoid getting stuck. This is not always possible, but there are steps you can take to avoid getting stuck in heavy snow or ice. For example, don't attempt to power up a hill that is covered in snow and/or ice. Also, do your best to keep your momentum, as it can be difficult to start back up after coming to a stop.
  • Know what to do in the event of a skid. This can happen when you least expect it, and you'll want to stay claim, avoid slamming the brakes and steer in the direction you want to travel.

These are just a few of the many things you can do to drive safely when winter weather strikes. Unfortunately, you don't have any control over other drivers. If someone causes an accident, move your vehicle to safety, call for help and do whatever it takes to receive immediate treatment of any injuries.

Source: Geico, "Winter Weather Driving Tips," accessed Jan. 25, 2018

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