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Drive carefully in winter weather

January 10, 2013
Estherville Daily News

After the second unseasonably winter for quite some time in a row (at least so far), a lot of us probably have our guard down as far as driving in winter weather is concerned.

Rain in January? Who would have thought it. Unfortunately, with rain comes freezing rain and all sorts of other calamities.

And that means being careful about driving.

First of all, we need to allow extra time to get wherever we're going. Sheer ice can require a stopping distance several times that of dry pavement. So that means thinking ahead and preparing for the unexpected.

And how are those tires? If the tread is badly worn, that can add even more to the time it takes to stop your vehicle. An old rule of thumb is to insert a penny into the tread of your tires. If the penny doesn't reach at least as far as the top of Lincoln's head, your tires need to be replaced.

Also make sure your brakes are in good working order. If they're squeaking, you need to take your car in to have them checked out.

And don't forget to check those wipers too. Worn blades can streak your windows, blurring your vision. And also be sure to top off your windshield washer fluid so you have plenty of it the next time a semi passes you, splashing your windshield.

And speaking of wipers, make sure they're turned off when you get home at might. And double-check in the morning. So what's the reason for that? Well, if you've ever had to pay for fixing a broken wiper arm or burnt-out wiper motor, then you know.

And if there's been a recent snowfall, make sure you wipe off your headlights before you drive.

A little precaution now can go a long way toward preventing an accident later.

So happy winter driving!



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