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Are you prepared for winter driving?

With winter storm Jonas wrecking havoc on much of the east coast, Rhode Islanders are among those now attempting to deal with the storm’s aftermath. With snow accumulations of up to one foot expected in some areas of the state, residents have been advised to stay home and, if possible, avoid traveling on roads and highways.

Drivers who have been forced to drive on snow-packed roads know all too well the numerous dangers they face. When travel can’t be avoided, for their own benefit as well as for the benefit of everyone else with whom they share the road, drivers have a duty to exercise extreme caution. Drivers who choose to disregard winter road warnings and drive too fast or in a reckless manner are at an increased risk of causing and being involved in a serious or fatal motor vehicle accident. 

A recent study by the American Automobile Association reveals that every winter hazardous road conditions caused by snow and sleet contribute to more than 225,000 traffic accidents, nearly 63,000 injuries and more than 650 deaths. To avoid becoming one of these statistics, AAA provides the following safe winter driving tips.

  • Avoid driving during winter storms and when road conditions are likely to be especially hazardous
  • Make sure that a vehicle’s tires are properly inflated
  • Avoid using cruise control in cold weather and especially on snow-packed roads
  • Always ensure that your vehicle’s gas tank is at least 50 percent full
  • Carry a cellphone and winter emergency kit in your vehicle
  • Keep your eyes and focus on the road and task of driving at all times
  • Drive slowly
  • Avoid passing other vehicles
  • When necessary, pull over at a designated road stop and call for help

Source: WWLP.com, “AAA releases timely study on weather-related traffic deaths,” Scott Powell, Jan. 22, 2016

AAA.com, “Winter Driving Tips,” Jan. 22, 2016

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