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Travel Tip: Winter Driving Challenges

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I don’t care how confident you are behind the wheel….driving in unfamiliar territory and unpredictable weather can add up to a dangerous scenario.

As you head out for your next ski vacation, remember that rough mountain roads and high altitudes can put extra stress on cars, so make sure your engine, transmission, brake pads, and tires are in good condition. Antifreeze is a must and think about replacing your wiper blades. Some areas actually require that you carry chains or have snow tires in winter so ask ahead.

Carry an emergency pack with items like flashlights, a shovel and ice scraper, a bag of sand, and extra clothing and blankets.

When descending steep mountain roads, put your transmission in a lower gear if possible, so you don’t have to ride your brakes as hard.

Even if you’re avoiding the mountains and driving through desert areas, those roads can also get icy in the winter.

Ice is also common on bridges, overpasses and infrequently traveled roads, even if the temperatures are above freezing.

No matter where you are, driving in icy conditions requires going slowly with plenty of room to stop.

And if you’re driving in a region that doesn’t get a lot of precipitation, unexpected storms can cause slick roads and send less-experienced drivers out of control.

Keep your distance and never get distracted by texting or phone calls when dealing with unfamiliar or dangerous conditions.

Learn more in our Driving & Car Rental section.

Looking for more advice? Click here for more Daily Travel Tips.

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