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Learn2 Prepare for Winter Driving (continued)
Step 2: Store basic supplies

Although using a credit card or your jacket sleeve to clear snow or ice from a windshield is resourceful, a snow brush and ice scraper will do a much better job of thoroughly clearing your windows and providing greater visibility. Likewise, a flashlight can come in handy in a variety of situations. Here are some other basic items you can buy and keep in your trunk:

  • Sand or kitty litter. Sometimes when your car is stuck in the snow or ice, the more you press on the accelerator, the deeper your wheels become entrenched. Try putting a layer of sand or clay-based (non-clumping) cat litter in front of and behind the stuck tires. Apply a thin, smooth layer at first, and add more as your tires need it. This should help provide some traction and make it easier to get going.

  • Tire chains. When driving in heavy snow, ice, or slush, tire chains can help your car keep its grip on the road. You can rent tire chains, although depending on how often you'll be using them, it may actually be cheaper to buy a set. Talk to your local tire retailer or mechanic to see what will work best for you. Tire chains come with instructions on how to attach them.

  • Extra windshield wiper fluid. On a messy, snowy day, you can easily go through a half-gallon of the stuff.

  • Flares. If you have to pull over to the side of the road, flares will help alert other drivers of your position. This becomes especially necessary at night and when visibility is poor.

  • Gloves. If you have to leave your car to shovel snow, add more wiper fluid, or take care of any other problem, you'll be happy you thought ahead and stored a pair of waterproof, lined gloves in the car.

Note: If you'll be driving in an area that gets a lot of snow, you may want to consider keeping a small shovel in your trunk.

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Step 1: Prepare your car
Step 2: Store basic supplies
Step 3: Get a grip
Step 4: Avoid hydroplaning
Step 5: Think about braking and skidding


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