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Get prepared for winter driving weather

Although Manassas does not typically have harsh winters, the city can definitely be impacted by a winter storm or two. Drivers should learn to anticipate and adapt to the wintry conditions that can seriously affect the driving conditions around the area.

Below are some precautions to take when Old Man Winter is bearing down:

-- Reduce speeds in inclement weather conditions. It doesn't require ice to make highways slick -- rain and freezing rain can wreak havoc.

-- During the winter months, it's especially important to carry an emergency supply kit, fully charged cellphone and working car charger.

-- Sometimes accidents occur far from home, so if you are setting out on a winter road trip, let someone know of your plans and route as well as your expected arrival time.

-- If you get into a skid, steer in the direction that the front-end should go and take your foot off the gas. It's important to know beforehand if your vehicle has anti-lock brakes. These should never be pumped. It's recommended to brake steadily and smoothly instead.

Sometimes conditions get so bad on the highways that all traffic is halted. It's always best to remain in your vehicle, which at least provides shelter. Running the engine for a few minutes an hour after making sure the tailpipe is free of snow can keep you warm without running down your battery or gas tank. Leave the window cracked a bit while it runs to prevent the build-up of carbon monoxide.

If the conditions get so bad that you are in danger of being crushed in a pile-up, exit the vehicle and move out of the way by walking parallel away from your car toward the fenceline or highway barrier.

After an accident, those who have been injured may need to file a claim for compensation for their monetary and other losses.

Source: KVEW-TV, "Winter Weather Safety," Kristin Walls, accessed Dec. 01, 2016

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