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How can you drive safely in winter weather?

Missouri is no stranger to winter weather like snow and ice. Therefore, many drivers may not take slippery road conditions as seriously as they should, and car accidents with the potential to injure or kill vehicle occupants can result. 

During inclement weather, or when a major storm is in the forecast, it is best to postpone any nonessential road trips until conditions improve. However, in the event that you must drive under hazardous winter weather conditions, the Missouri State Highway Patrol offers the following safety tips.

Avoid distractions

Do not listen to the radio or talk on your phone, except to make an emergency call, if necessary. Focus your attention completely on your driving. This is a good idea under any conditions, but particularly when the weather is unfavorable.

Ensure visibility

This not only means clearing off your windows to afford yourself a complete field of vision but also keeping your lights on so that other drivers can see you.

Plan ahead

Pay attention to the weather forecasts, plan your route ahead of time, and communicate your intentions to others.

Be prepared

Pack a winter survival kit including the following items and store it in your trunk:

  • Water
  • Nonperishable food
  • Blankets
  • Battery booster cables
  • A bag of cat litter or sand
  • Flashlight and/or candles

Never drive with less than a half tank of gas, and make sure your cell phone battery is completely charged.

Stay calm

Keep your head even in an emergency. Panicking may cause you to make mistakes that will exacerbate the situation. 

Take your time

You can reasonably expect inclement weather to cause traffic delays. Budget enough time to allow for them and do not overdrive conditions. Even driving the speed limit may be too fast when the roads are slippery.

The information in this article is not intended as legal advice but provided for educational purposes only. 

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