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Winter driving tips from MoDOT

Driving on snowy roads requires special attention to safety.


The snow may have stopped falling, but dangerous driving conditions persist in the Tri-States.


There are certain precautions you can take to make winter driving safer.



Missouri Department of Transportation tells KTVO's Justin Andrews you should winterize car and always have fresh antifreeze, a good battery, and oil to withstand the rigors of these snowy conditions. MoDOT recommends you follow these winter driving tips.



Before the Trip:


- Winterize your car with fresh antifreeze, a good battery, a properly operating exhaust system and oil that will withstand the rigors of cold weather.


- If possible, avoid driving until the roads are safe and passable. You don't want to slide off the road, and we don't want to plow around disabled vehicles.


- Do a thorough pre-trip inspection of your vehicle, paying special attention to your tires, brakes, windshield wipers and windshield wiper fluid.



Equip your vehicle with:


- A flashlight with extra batteries


- A first-aid kit


- Necessary medications


- Blankets and/or sleeping bags


- Extra mittens or gloves, socks, a warm cap and rain gear


- A small sack of sand to use for traction under your wheels


- A small shovel


- Booster cables


- Small tools - pliers, wrench, screwdriver


- A brightly colored cloth to use as a flag


- Nonperishable foods


- Bottled water



During the Trip:


- Obey speed limits; don't speed.


- Use common sense, and adjust your speed and following distance to suit driving conditions .


- Give snowplows plenty of room, and don't pass them.


- Always wear your seat belt.


- Remember that driving is most dangerous when temperatures are near 32 degrees.


- Watch for other vehicles having problems with road conditions.


- Keep mirrors, windows and lights clean; keep your lights on.


- Don't pass other vehicles on or near bridges.


- Keep your fuel tank at least half full.


- If you don't feel comfortable driving, pull off of the highway and park at the first safe place.



If You're Trapped in Your Car:


- Stay in the vehicle. Don't leave to search for help. It's easy to become disoriented and lost in blowing and drifting snow.


- Display a trouble sign. Hang a brightly colored cloth on the antenna.


- Run the engine for about 10 minutes each hour. Run the heater and turn on the dome light only when the vehicle is running.


- Keep the exhaust pipe clear of snow, and open a window slightly for ventilation.


- Clap hands and move your arms and legs occasionally. Don't stay in one position for too long.


- If more than one person is in the car, take turns sleeping.


- Huddle together for warmth.


- Use newspapers, maps and even car mats for added insulation.

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