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Drivers urged to make sure their vehicles are ready for winter weather

By Robert Hyndrick, Communications Manager, Governor’s Office of Highway Safety 

As Georgians go out to buy food, water and other needed supplies before snow is predicted to fall in parts of the state this weekend, they also need to make sure their vehicles are ready.

Snow and ice make roads slick and dangerous to drive. So, it is imperative drivers make check the tread and air pressure on their tires and that their wipers and headlights are also working properly.

"Regardless of what happens this weekend, this is a great time to make sure your vehicle is ready for winter," Harris Blackwood, Director of the Governor's Office of Highway Safety said. "That is much easier to do before the predicted snow and freezing rain arrives."

An inexpensive gauge will tell motorists if the air pressure in their tires meets the manufacturer's recommended guidelines. Checking the tire tread is also very easy by inserting a penny heads down between the treads.  Replace the tire if Lincoln's head is visible.

Replace dried or frayed windshield wipers and check headlights by turning them on and walking around the vehicle. Position someone safely behind the vehicle who will be able to see if the brake lights are also working properly.

It is also a good idea to have an inexpensive scraper that will be able to scrape snow and ice off of the windshield and windows.

"Visibility is very poor when driving in the snow and properly working wipers and headlights will help drivers not only see the road but also help other drivers see them," Blackwood said. "Of course, the safest thing for everyone to do is to stay at home and not drive when it is snowing and when roads are covered with ice."

Those who do have to get out on the roads are asked to drive slowly and wear their seatbelts.  
Other tips for driving in the snow are:

  • Don't stop if you can avoid it.
  • Accelerate and decelerate slowly.
  • Don't power up hills.
  • Don't stop going up a hill
  • Don't follow too closely - leave 8-10 seconds of space between your vehicle and the one traveling in front of you.
  • Know your brakes.

Drivers can get the latest information on road conditions and any closings from the Georgia Department of Transportation at www.511.ga.org.

For more information about the Governor's Office of Highway Safety, please go to our website gahighwaysafety.org or follow us on Facebook at Georgia GOHS and Twitter at gohsgeorgia.

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