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5 tips to help you drive safely in colder weather

Colder weather in areas such as Delaware can increase the number of car accidents. Because prevention goes a long way, here is a look at five tips to help you better navigate these chilly days and nights.

1. Get your car checked.

Take your car to a service station as soon as possible so that technicians can look at areas such as your tires, battery charge, wiper blades and brakes. This way, you are more prepared for what is to come, and the likelihood of bad surprises when it is dark and cold and you are out of cellphone range is much smaller.

2. Build an emergency kit.

You truly never know what can happen; a hit-and-run driver could leave you stranded or injured, for instance. Even if you get your car checked, you should still assemble an emergency kit. In fact, no assembly is required if you buy the kit from a retailer; many establishments offer top-of-the-line packages. If you choose the do-it-yourself method, gather items such as booster cables, warning flares, basic tools, gloves and thermal blankets.

3. Drive more carefully.

Colder weather brings less hours of daylight. You may be leaving for work in the morning when it is dark and driving home in the darkness as well. Drive more carefully-and slowly-to compensate for the loss of visibility. Deer, pedestrians and bicyclists are just a few of the hazards you might face.

If you are driving near snow plows, be aware that their operators cannot see you if you cannot see the plow's mirrors. While it can be frustrating to be stuck behind a slow-moving plow, being behind it is often safer than being elsewhere on the road. Just keep a healthy distance between you and the plow for peak visibility and to reduce the chances of de-icing materials colliding with your vehicle.

4. Keep your car clear.

When it snows, clear your car of snow before you drive. Remember areas such as the roof, hood, trunk, lights, mirrors and windows. Not only does clearing enhance how well you can see your environment, but it also reduces hazards for other drivers.

5. Practice slowly.

If winter weather driving or your vehicle is new to you , start driving gradually in it when the weather is snowy or icy. For example, after a snowfall, you can practice driving in a parking lot to get a better sense of how the vehicle moves in such weather.

Car accidents can be devastating, causing all types of injuries and even death. If you have been involved in a collision, an attorney can explain your options.

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