Stay safe while driving this winter

With the winter months quickly approaching in Mansfield, now is the time for all drivers to prepare for the snow and ice on its way. By starting the preparations now, you won't have to try to rush through them.

Getting ready for winter travel starts with making sure you have the proper supplies and that your vehicle is in good shape. Now is the time to check the tire pressure and tread, brakes, wipers, and fluids. Add in windshield washer fluid that won't freeze in cold temperatures so that you can use it throughout the season.

Pack your cold weather kit

You should have a few items in the trunk of the vehicle so that you can access them if you are ever stranded or stuck. This includes a snow brush, scraper for ice, shovel and pair of jumper cables. You can also add in some sort of abrasive material like kitty litter that can help your tires gain traction on the slippery surface. Putting in a blanket and flares or a warning triangle can help to keep you safe and comfortable. If you are taking a long trip, you can also take medications, water, food and a phone charger.

Only drive when necessary

Once it starts snowing or the roads become icy, only venture out if it is necessary. This reduces the chance that you will get into an accident or that you will get in the way of a snowplow. Also check the road conditions so that you know whether you need to change routes. Leave extra time to get to your destination so you don't have to rush while you drive.

Travel with safety in mind

Always wear a seatbelt, but make sure you double check it when the roads are bad. Children should ride in a proper car seat, and they should sit in the back seat.

Be sure to take your time and only drive when you are rested and able to handle the duties. Watch where you are going. The sun's rays on the snow can sometimes have a blinding effect, so be vigilant to keep an eye out for people who are walking or biking near the roadway. You also need to leave extra time between you and the vehicle in front of you.

Crashes happen all winter long, so if you are one of the unfortunate victims of a wreck, make sure that you get medical care. Look into your options to pursue compensation for the damages you suffer in the accident.

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