Williams, Walsh & O'Connor, LLC

Battling the snow storm: What you can do to stay safe in your car

Sometimes there's no choice but to drive in bad weather. When a snow storm hits, you may have to make a choice between getting to work or staying home. While it's safer to stay in, that's not always an option.

Here are some things you can do to keep yourself and others safer when you're behind the wheel during winter storms.

1. Get snow tires mounted and check their pressure

Your tires need to be designed to work in snow. That means they need a deep tread and should be inflated fully. Not checking for inflation or tread could lead to you sliding off the roads or into another driver.

2. Prepare an emergency kit

Nothing is worse than being stranded, cold and hurt. Keep an emergency kit in your vehicle containing a flare to warn others of your disabled vehicle, food, water, blankets and flashlights.

3. Check the weather and prepare for the worst

If you're not familiar with driving in challenging weather conditions, make sure you plan extra time to get to your destination. You don't want to be rushing in bad weather. Remember that other drivers are also struggling with the snow and ice, so always keep your eyes open for dangers around you.

Stay safe -- stay free from distraction

Driving in the winter has its risks, but if you can do so safely, you can continue doing the things you love without getting hurt. Always avoid being distracted when you're behind the wheel, since winter driving requires more attention and focus.

If you have to drive and don't feel confident, know that you can pull over to the side of the road. If you do, use your hazard lights to let others know that you've stopped, so that no one hits you.

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