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6 driving tips that could save your life during this winter storm

Posted at 2:32 PM, Jan 20, 2016
and last updated 2016-01-20 14:35:12-05

RICHMOND, Va. — Virginia State Police have issued a warning for people who plan to travel during the winter storm headed toward Virginia.

“Virginians are encouraged to plan ahead, be prepared and avoid unnecessary travel. Virginia State Police will have all available troopers and supervisors working in advance of and the duration of the storms as they make their way across and into the Commonwealth,” Virginia State Police spokeswoman Corinne Geller said. “To prevent unnecessary traffic crashes and delays from occurring on Virginia’s highways during the storms, state police advises residents to postpone travel plans and avoid driving, when possible.”

If you cannot avoid travel during the storms, Virginia State Police offered the following safety tips:

Use headlights: Increasing your visibility helps you to avoid slick and dangerous spots on the road, as well as helps other drivers see you better.

Slow your speed: Though state police works closely with the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) to identify problem areas on Virginia’s highways during a snow storm, drivers still must drive for conditions. Slowing your speed gives you more time to safely react and avoid a crash. Drive your vehicle based on your ability to properly maintain control of your vehicle.

Don’t tailgate: You need increased stopping distance on slick road surfaces, especially at intersections. Give yourself more space between vehicles traveling ahead of you in order to avoid rear end collisions.

Buckle Up: Most crashes that occur during winter weather are caused by vehicles sliding into guardrails, off the road or other vehicles. Wearing a seat belt protects you and your passengers from being thrown around the inside the vehicle and suffering serious injury in a crash.

Check Your Vehicle: Make sure your vehicle is in good working order for the conditions. Fill up the tank in advance. Check windshield wipers, windshield wiper fluid, tire tread, battery life, etc.

Don’t leave home without a window scraper, blanket, bottled water, snack, cell phone charger and flashlight.