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Clear Ice and Snow From Your Vehicle

If there has been a storm, allow the plows to do their job before you head out, Weis says. Have a brush to clear all of the ice and snow from your vehicle before you start driving.

Don't skip the roof of the car, because snow can fall on rear and front windows while you are driving, blocking your vision unexpectedly. Make sure your lights are visible and not covered with snow and ice as well.

You should also warm up your vehicle before you drive, but according to AAA don't do so in an enclosed space like a garage. Car exhaust is a common source of carbon monoxide, and adequate ventilation is necessary to avoid carbon monoxide poisoning.

Recognize When You Are in No Condition to Drive

The car isn't the only thing that needs to be prepared -- the driver does, too. That's why Weis says you should avoid driving when you don't feel well. If you are tired or have been drinking, steer clear of the wheel.

Share These Tips With Your Teens

Motor vehicle accidents are a leading cause of death among teenagers, according to a study conducted by the National Institutes of Health. It's even more important, therefore, that you discuss winter driving safety with your family if you have teenage drivers.

Remember, it's never too late to prepare yourself and your vehicle for the winter months. Gilman says she got lucky. "I drive much slower now during bad weather, and I keep my distance from other vehicles," she says. She learned the hard way. Hopefully you don't have to.

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