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Pinpoint Traffic Blog: Winter Driving Do’s & Don’ts


Whether your celebrating, like ME or anxiously awaiting that next big snowstorm –  a refresher course on winter driving  could help save your life.

Driving in severe weather can be downright frightening. AAA recommends keeping your gas tank at least half full to avoid gas line freeze-up at all times.

Avoid using your parking brake in cold, snowy weather.

Cold temperatures, can cause the emergency brake cable can become frozen and fail to release. Also, don’t use cruise control when driving on any slippery surface  – you’re at a greater risk of hydroplaning.

Other tips seem more like common sense – never warm up a vehicle in an enclosed area, check your tire’s pressue regularly and don’t drive when you’re tired.

Planning a road trip?

Be sure to pack an emergency kit. You will want to pack items like extra blankets, gloves, hats, food, water and any needed medication in your vehicle.

In the unfortunate case you find youself snow-bound, stay with your vehicle.

Don’t try to walk in a severe storm. Keep the dome light on inside your vehicle if possible – it only uses a small amount of electricity and will make it easier for rescuers to find you. 

Run the engine and heater briefly – just enough to remove the chill and to conserve gasoline.

Driving Tips

When driving in the white stuff – applying the gas and brakes slowly help to gain traction and avoid slipping and sliding.

The normal dry pavement following distance of 3 to 4 seconds should be increased to 8 to 10 seconds. If there is something on the roadway that you can avoid – do it –  don’t stop.

Some of the best advice? When that storm finally does hit, if you really don’t have to go out, don’t. 

Just stay home.

Melissa Sardelli ( is the Pinpoint Traffic Reporter for WPRI 12 and FOX Providence. If you have a traffic concern or question reach out to me on Twitter @MelissaSardelli or find me on Facebook. 

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.


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