Travel tips to stay safe during winter weather

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Winter is in full swing, and central North Carolina has had its fair share of wintry weather so far this season.

With more icy conditions in the forecast, it’s a good idea to make sure you and your car are ready for whatever Mother Nature throws our way.

Steve Sargent, owner of Milex Complete Auto Care/Mr. Transmission of Cary, reminds you that a quick turn on an icy path can quickly turn into trouble.

“They usually slam the brakes on and the next thing you know, the car just decides to spin. The best thing to do is just don’t touch anything and just guide through and get to the dry pavement on the other side.”

He also reminds drivers to lower your speed and apply the brakes gently. If you encounter ice, Sargent advises you to coast through it.

“Just steer without touching the gas and without touching the brakes so you don’t cause any shifts in the car or spin out or anything like that.”

Along with good driving habits, you also need good tires that are still able to get traction. You can test your tires right now-all you need is a penny!

“Lincoln’s head is about two millimeters away from the edge. And if you have two millimeters or less on your tires, then you need to get some tires on your car because they are basically bald. All you do is you stick this in the groove and you look. And if it’s touching or covering part of Lincoln’s head, then you have enough tread to call your tires safe.”

You may come out to your car one cold winter morning and find that your tire light is on. Sargent says that unless your tire obviously looks low, wait before you panic.

“When the weather gets colder, that air condenses and the tire pressures get lower, and these lights go off. We get a ton of people calling about it all the time. It’s just a matter of getting a little bit of tire adjustment. It’s not going to hurt you if you need to go out in this weather.”

If you do have to go out, make sure everyone has a winter weather kit in their car. Items such as a blanket, flashlight, bottled water, ice scraper, jumper cables and even kitty litter! Kitty litter or even rock salt can be put down and act as traction and give you some grip if your car gets stuck.

Sargent also encourages drivers to fill up the tank before the weather turns dicey. Fuels can get water in them, so a full tank will avoid any water problems.

Taking the steps now can ensure you and your family stay safe no matter the weather.

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