Winter driving challenges ahead, be prepared

Snow, cold, wind and ice may conspire in the days ahead to create extremely hazardous traveling conditions.

Don’t drive if winter conditions are too extreme. If you do drive, use plenty of caution and observe a few common sense rules for navigating hazardous weather conditions:

Get safely situated. Don’t wait until after a storm hits to get on the road. Get to your destination before conditions turn nasty and unsafe.

Always drive according to conditions of the road. Slow down and allow extra time for travel, and extra room between you and other vehicles.

Travel smart. Consider waiting until a storm passes to get on the road. Look out for each other. If you must drive, remember cyclists and pedestrians are harder to see in a storm.

If you’re biking or walking remember cars don’t stop quickly on snow and ice.

Check on any appointments you have before you leave. Offices and businesses may close due to the weather.

Know before you go. Plan your route.

Stay on main highways. Don’t blindly follow GPS navigations that could lead you onto a remote road not maintained in winter.

Don’t abandon your vehicle. It prevents clearing the road and emergency services getting to the people who need them.

Carry an emergency kit that includes water, food, blankets, flash light, first aid supplies, etc. Have a full tank of gas and charge your phone. You never know when severe weather, closures or crashes will cause long delays.

Beware of outages. If a storm knocks out power to traffic signals, treat intersections like an all-way stop. The driver who stops first goes first.

Remember, driving on ice and snow pack is never a safe choice. The safest thing to do is stay off the road

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