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Winter and Safety

by: Dakota Pruemer/Staff Writer

According to the National Institute of Health’s website, 7,000 deaths and 800,000 injuries occur because of wrecks caused by bad weather. Residents know Illinois has rough winters with lots of snow and ice that covers the roads and make it difficult to drive. To avoid being one of the many who will crash their vehicles this winter, follow some of these tips.

First and foremost, slow down. Excessive speed is the number one cause of winter accidents. Allow for a much greater stopping distance. Lightly tap the brakes instead of pushing them to the floor. If the wheels lock, pump the brakes to unlock them and stop. Use lower gears, notably on hills or inclines, for better traction. Another good tip is to avoid using cruise control on roads with bad conditions. In the event that the vehicle starts to skid, immediately release the accelerator, then steer the vehicle in the desired direction. For more information on the above tips and a more in-depth look at more safe driving techniques, visit the Weather Channel’s website.

Even when following all of the safe driving techniques, there is still a chance of wrecking and, if this happens, one should be prepared. The Weather Channel has also made a list of things to keep in a car as well as explanations as to why. First the basics: a blanket, matches, a flashlight and candles, hand warmers, water, and protein bars. Some more uncommon things are a snow shovel, a syphon pump, and light sticks. Flares and a whistle are suggest to flag down help.

Be safe and be prepared for driving this winter by using these tips and those on the Weather Channel’s website.

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