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Preparing for winter trips in Rhode Island

Karns & Kerrison

New England winters are well-known for being cold, pristine and beautiful, but they are also known for being dangerous. U.S. Climate Data reports that the state receives an average of 102.5 inches of rainfall each year. Slick, frozen roads can cause cars to careen out of control and crash, but there are things drivers can do to prepare for the winter driving season.

The first thing to do is be aware of the forecast. The American Automobile Association suggests that drivers check the weather report before heading out on any long trips to avoid being caught in a snowstorm. Avoiding problems is the best way to keep them from happening.

In addition to not traveling during heavy snowfall, drivers should also keep their gas tank at least half full. This will increase the amount of time that drivers will be able to run their heater until help arrives if they become stranded. Keeping food, water, a small shovel, and warm blankets or clothes in the trunk can also ease stress in emergency situations and improve chances of survival.

Vehicles should also be in their best shape before traveling in the snow. All lightbulbs should be working, tires should be properly inflated and fluid levels should be full. It is wise to complete any necessary maintenance before the winter season hits to avoid being stranded in the cold. It is also a good idea to learn what type of brakes the vehicle has. Anti-lock and non-anti-lock brakes require different actions to stop the vehicle when it is sliding or skidding on slippery pavement.

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