Archive for Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Seasonal travel: Be prepared for driving during winter

Drivers make their way down Shawnee Mission Parkway in this 2008 file photo. With December under way and winter on the horizon, the Kansas Highway Patrol is sending some reminders about traveling in snowy and icy conditions.

Drivers make their way down Shawnee Mission Parkway in this 2008 file photo. With December under way and winter on the horizon, the Kansas Highway Patrol is sending some reminders about traveling in snowy and icy conditions.

December 13, 2011, 4:12 p.m.

Updated: December 14, 2011, 12:00 a.m.

Q: What should drivers remember about driving in bad winter weather?

A: Some of the most important things to remember when traveling in adverse conditions are to slow down, turn off your cruise control, turn your headlights on and dress appropriately for the conditions.

Q: How should I get my vehicle ready for the winter?

A: Prepare your vehicle for winter travel by replacing wiper blades, ensuring tires have good tread and air pressure, and by checking the vehicle’s fluids, exhaust system and other mechanical equipment. You also may want to consider adding a shovel to your trunk, weight such as sand bags in the bed of a pickup (to help with traction and control) and carrying a sand/salt mixture in your trunk to help melt the snow and gain traction.

Q: Any advice on emergency kits?

A: The vehicle should also be stocked with items that would be beneficial if you were involved in a crash or your vehicle became stuck: bottled water, blankets, nonperishable food items, a first-aid kit and a flashlight with extra batteries.

Q: My father always told me to keep my gasoline tank full in the winter. Was he right?

A: You should try to keep your gas tank full. This adds additional weight for traction in adverse conditions and lessens the possibility of running out of fuel if you became stuck.

Q: If roads are slick or snowy, what advice do you suggest?

A: Accelerate and brake gently, and increase following distance between you and other vehicles. Be particularly cautious on bridges, and in curves, as they are often the slicker parts of the road. Steer in the direction you want to go if your vehicle loses traction and begins to slide.

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