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6 Winter Tips That Could Save Your Life

In our neck of the woods, we’ve been blessed with some pretty mild winters the past few years. But it never hurts to prepare for the worst. Read on for six tips that could save your life later.

1. Drive in better shoes.
In wet conditions, you’ll likely have to use your gas and brakes more often than normal. To make it easier to switch between the two, wear flat shoes. Heavy boots or high heels make it difficult to react as quickly as you might need to. Either keep a pair of driving shoes in your car or make it a point to only wear shoes that won’t impede your driving skills.

2. Check your lights.
Visibility is key in winter conditions. Check your headlight and brake-light functionality before winter is in full force. You need to be able to see, and other drivers need to see you.

3. Do not use cruise control.
If you want your vehicle to maintain a certain speed, cruise control can make your life easier. But in wet or snowy conditions, cruise control could cause your vehicle to hydroplane. Basically, using cruise control when the road is slick is like slamming on the gas as soon as your vehicle comes in contact with ice – which is never a good idea. Skip using cruise control so you can maintain power over your vehicle should conditions become dangerous.  

4. Learn how to recover from skids.
There are a couple types of skids, and they require different methods of correction. To avoid the terror of panic later, learn what to do in the moment by watching this video.

5. Increase the gap between you and the vehicle in front of you.
Even if you’re the safest driver in the world, you’re still surrounded by others who may not be as responsible. In wet or icy conditions, you may need as much as 10 times the space to stop in the event of an emergency. By driving slow and giving the car in front of you plenty of space, you’ll reduce your risk of having an accident.

6. Always fill up when your tank is halfway empty.
Years ago, winter temps meant making sure you kept your gas tank at least half full to reduce condensation. Condensation buildup could lead to freezing in the fuel lines. While this is an important must-do for those driving older vehicles, this isn’t a concern for new vehicles. But that doesn’t mean you should let your gas tank get too empty. If you’re ever stranded in the cold, you’ll need gas to keep your engine running so you can stay warm.

For more car-care tips throughout the year, follow Auto Tire and Parts NAPA on Facebook.

What are your winter driving tips? 

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