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Posted at 09:00 PM ET, 01/27/2009

Winter Weather Driving Tips

* Latest Forecast Update *

The best way to stay safe from slick roads today and tomorrow is to not drive if you don't have to. If you do venture out onto roadways, here are a few things to keep in mind.

*Clear the Car: Before you drive, clear all ice and snow off of your car, including the windows and front and rear headlights. Clear any loose snow from your hood and roof to prevent it blowing onto your windshield or onto another car while you are driving.

*Let Someone Know When You Go: Let someone know where you are headed and what time you expect to be there.

*Leave Your Lights On: Keep your headlights on, even during the day.

*Speed and Distance: Travel at or below the speed limit and give yourself extra space behind other vehicles. Increase your stopping time even if you are driving a four-wheel drive vehicle.

Keep reading for more winter weather driving tips...

*On Thin Ice: If you must brake quickly over snow or ice, press and hold the brake firmly if you have anti-lock brakes (ABS). If you do not have ABS, gradually pump the brake, increasing in firmness as your vehicle slows.

*Steer Clear: If you find your rear wheels skidding on ice, turn in the direction you want your front wheels to go (if the rear is skidding right, turn the wheel right). You may have to do this a few times in either direction for the wheels to set straight. Then, apply the brake. If your front wheels skid, release the gas pedal and put the car in neutral. As the vehicle slows, gradually steer in the direction you want to go. These are the best practices in either a front or rear-wheel drive vehicle.

*Invisible Ice: Temperatures at or below freezing can lead to patches of "black ice" - clear ice on the roads that is nearly invisible from the driver's view. Use caution on bridges, overpasses, and intersections where icing is common.

For more tips, check out these fact sheets from the Departments of Transportation in D.C., Maryland and Virginia.

By  |  09:00 PM ET, 01/27/2009

Categories:  Winter Storms, Winter Storms

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