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Safe Winter Driving

SAFE WINTER DRIVING


Don't be caught unprepared for the first blast of winter weather. Before the snow flies, have a reputable garage do a tune-up and inspection on your vehicle to prevent problems.
Brakes:
The brakes must be faultless and equalized so there is no pulling to one side, which may cause skidding.

Cooling:
If it hasn't been done in a while, have your cooling system flushed out with a good chemical cleaner and put in fresh anti-freeze. Check containers, belts, hoses, the pressure caps and thermostat.

Battery:
Cold weather is hard on batteries. If your battery is several years old, have it checked. Be sure connections are clean and tight.

Engine:
A diagnostic check-up of the engine can be a good pre-winter investment. If you're due for a tune-up, have it done before winter sets in. Faulty wiring, worn spark plugs, a sticking choke or emission control devices that need attention, can all lead to hard starting.

Exhaust:
Check the muffler and tail pipe system for carbon monoxide leaks, which can be especially dangerous during cold weather driving when the windows are closed.

Fuel:
Make sure there is plenty of gas in your tank at all times. A full tank minimizes condensation, which may cause gas line freezing. Add gasoline antifreeze occasionally.

Heaters, Defrosters and Wipers:
Have them checked to make sure they are operational. Install winter wiper blades and use cold weather washer fluid. Ensure your windshield can give you clear vision of the road and traffic around you.

Oil and Filter:
Dirty oil can give you trouble in the winter, so change the oil and filter. Check the other filters, including the fuel, air and transmission filters.

Tires:
Snow tires increase traction in soft snow. Install them on all four wheels. All-season tires on all wheels with good treads are adequate in some regions. Check your tire pressure regularly - for every 5º C of temperature drop, tire pressure goes down by one pound.
 
12 Tips for Safe Winter Driving
All people should know the feeling. Suddenly, the car has a mind of its own; it starts skidding, and the driver has no control. Everything starts happening in slow motion. It's as if the driver is a passenger instead of the person in charge.

Perhaps nothing could have been done to avoid this hairy situation. However, there are a number of driving tricks for this type of weather. Although some of them may go against the driver’s instincts, they can be lifesavers:
1. Drive as if everyone is out to get you. In other words, drive defensively.
2. Remember that bridges ice up before roads.
3. Drive slowly. Otherwise our control is severely diminished.
4. Increase the distance between cars. It can take 4-10 times as long to stop on slick roads, if you can stop at all.
5. Know your brakes and make sure they are in good condition.
6. Do not pump anti-lock brakes, press firmly on the pedal and let the brakes do the rest. With conventional brakes, gently pump the brake pedal.
7. Don't turn, brake, or accelerate too hard.
8. If you start to skid, don't fight it; steer in the direction of the skid, and resist the temptation to apply the brakes.
9. Avoid two-way roads if possible.
10. Stay alert. Listen to the radio for information on falling temperatures, accidents and road conditions.
11. Avoid following a snowplow. If you must, follow at least eight seconds behind.
12. Never use cruise control on snowy or icy roadways.

Vacation, travel, job duties, and commuting may take many drivers through some dangerous driving conditions in winter. For this reason, YASA compiled the following recommendations:
Just For Starters
1. Before turning on the ignition, make sure the wipers are not frozen to the glass. (Always stop the wipers with the wiper switch and wait until they go into their "park" position before turning off ignition. This is necessary because your wipers will finish one cycle when you turn on the ignition, even though you turn the wipers before right before turning on the ignition the next morning.)
2. Let your engine warm up while you clear off snow or ice from all window surfaces. Put heater fan on "high", heat on "hottest", and selector on "defrost". Be sure to clear off any snow accumulated on the hood and front fenders. This can make it hard to judge distance. Turn on electric rear window defroster if you have one. (In-glass defrosters improve rearward visibility under all moisture-producing conditions, including summer rain.)
3. Check all lights, including headlights, parking lights, tail lights, backup lights, and lane-change signals. Make sure they are free of snow or road grime. Even if you don't wash your car all winter, keep your lights clean.
4. If visibility is anything less than normal, turn headlights on low beam, even during daylight hours. Although this may not improve your ability to see, it will make it easier for the other guy to see you and to judge your speed and distance. NEVER use parking lights on the highway for any reason. As the name indicates, they are for PARKING. When used on the highway, they tend to distort the other drivers' perception of your speed and distance, especially if most other cars are using headlights.

Traction Tips

1. If your car will be parked for some time while it is snowing, try to back into the garage or parking space. When it's time to move, pulling out will be easier than backing out. For rear drive cars, the bare spot where the car is standing may provide enough initial traction to get you going. For front drive cars, backing in snow is more difficult than for rear drive cars so plan ahead.
2. If you have rear drive, load your passengers from back to front. If you have just one passenger, have him/her sit in the middle of the back seat. You want as much weight as possible over the drive wheels.
3. If you appear to be stuck in your parking spot, try rocking the car with gentle backward and forward motions. (Never change gears while moving or accelerating.) If you move forward/backward for a limited distance and then stop, reverse your direction in your own tracks and hit it again a little harder. Avoid sitting in one spot and spinning your tires. This only heats up the tires and digs you in deeper. If you have standard differential, without traction control, it will be possible for one wheel to spin while the other is motionless. A burlap bag, grocery bag, or cardboard carton under that spinning wheel may get you going. Carry a bag of cat litter (unused). A little under the tire may provide assistance for a spinning wheel.
4. Make all moves slowly and carefully: starting, stopping, turning, speeding up, slowing down. Sudden moves cause trouble when the traction is poor.
5. If the main traffic lane is very slippery and you're having trouble getting up a hill, try driving slowly with 2 wheels on the edge of the roadway.
6. Try to avoid going up a hill right behind another car. If it loses traction and starts to slow down, you're licked, too. When approaching a hill, follow the other car at a significant distance and then pick your own pace and maintain it. Inertia is your friend while going up a hill with poor traction.
7. If your drive wheels start to spin or slide while going up a hill, ease off on the accelerator slightly and then gently resume speed.
8. To correct a skid TURN WHEEL IN THE DIRECTION OF THE SKID. If your rear end starts sliding to the right, turn the wheel to the right. If your rear end starts sliding to the left, turn your wheel to the left. Do not apply brakes while in a skid. When your wheels are locked, your car is a toboggan.
9. When ordering a new car with rear drive, be sure to ask for the "positraction" differential. This option is the next best thing to front drive for traction in snow. It delivers power to the drive wheel with the best traction. When ordering a new car with front drive, be sure to ask for the "traction control".

Lebanon , Traffic Safety

Date: 4/16/2010 3:13:04 PM

By: YASA WEB , YASA
 
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