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Prepare your vehicle, your drivers for winter driving

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By RICHARD RUDOLPH
Garrison Safety Office
Winter is less than two weeks away. It may seem like spring now but that can change in just a few short hours in Kentucky. If you were here in 2009, you know what I’m talking about: the ice storm. Hopefully we will not see anything like that again. Post was closed and driving was not something people wanted to do, unless it was an emergency, due to the snow and ice on the road ways.
Here are a few simple tips to help keep you safe when the weather takes a turn towards the worst.
Only drive when it is necessary.
Be sure to clean all windows and lights of snow or ice before driving.
Make sure your tires are properly inflated and have the proper tread.
Have a winter check done on your vehicle to ensure all fluids are at their proper levels, wiper blades are good; lights and horn are in working condition.
Carry an emergency bag with items like flashlight, spare batteries, extra fuses, drinking water, nonperishable food, blanket, cat litter or a bag of sand and small shovel, warning triangles, pen and paper, first aid kit. Kits like this can be purchased or you can make your own and tailor it to your family size when traveling.
Bridges and overpasses freeze before roadways, even rain can cause black ice.
Always allow extra time to get where you are going, “don’t speed.”
Allow more room between vehicles and be prepared for the unexpected due to decreased visibility.
Gently apply brakes, applying them too quickly could put you in a skid.
Check your owner’s manual for how to negotiate a skid; it’s different for front and rear wheel drive vehicles. Remember just because you have a four wheel-drive vehicle, it doesn,t mean you can speed on icy roads.
Plan it advance for the uncertain weather and you will never be left out in the cold.