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5 Car Safety Tips for Winter

By Brandi Goodman 

Winter driving can be especially dangerous. It's easy to slide on slick and icy roads. It's also difficult to stop when you have no traction and your tires are in slush. This leads to far more crashes than usual. Keep some car safety tips in mind this winter so you don't get stuck in a snowbank -- or worse.

Keep a Shovel in Your Vehicle

You may not think to keep a shovel in your car, but it's actually one of the best things you can have in the winter. If you get stuck in the snow without one, you'll have to wait for help to get out. With a shovel available, you can scoop out the snow surrounding you and possibly get out by yourself. It will cut down your time stuck stranded.

Maintain a Car First-Aid Kit

A first-aid kit should also be kept in your vehicle. Be sure to maintain it, meaning replacing items once they're used so you're never without. Some simple supplies should be included, such as bandages, over-the-counter pain medication, and of course water and snacks that can sustain you if you're stranded a while. Don't forget to include a blanket and some extra pairs of gloves as well for warmth.

Put a Sandbag in Your Trunk

A sandbag is beneficial for winter driving in two ways. One, you'll have extra weight in your trunk to help keep your car stable. This is important for vehicles with front-wheel drive that may not maintain stability the same as four-wheel drive vehicles can. Two, you can use that sand to help yourself get unstuck. Icy roads don't provide traction to get you moving. The sand can be placed in front of your tires to help you move easier.

Increase Following Distance

One of the best things you can do when there's other cars on the road is increase your following distance. It's normally recommended to stay at least two car lengths behind on a normal day. On a harsh winter day, or even when it's wet, you should be at least six seconds behind another vehicle. If you need to stop quickly, or they do, it's better to be far back from them.

Avoid Going Out

If the weather is that bad and the experts are suggesting staying home, avoid going out. You shouldn't be out on the roads unless absolutely necessary. Just staying home will protect you from the dangers outdoors.

Being safe and healthy should always be the goal. When driving this winter, always be sure to consider these car safety tips so you can maintain your well-being. A damaged car or body are neither of the things you want to be worrying about throughout the holidays nor after.

To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Portland, Ore.

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