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Tips for safe winter driving

New York drivers often dread the winter. Not only is the weather cold and wet, but it also makes area roads slippery and dangerous. That's why motorists should take extra precautions to stay safe.

The good news is that many new vehicles now come with advanced safety technologies that can help drivers avoid weather-related accidents. For example, traction control systems help vehicles maintain traction when roadways are covered with snow and ice. These systems are particularly helpful when drivers attempt to accelerate after a stop or when they drive up slippery hills or inclines.

To stay safe in snowy conditions, traffic safety experts recommend that drivers prepare their cars and trucks before bad weather strikes. Critical components, including the brakes, tires, fan belts, headlights, spark plugs and battery, should be inspected to make sure they are in good working condition. Vehicles should also be stocked with survival supplies in case of an emergency. These supplies should include a spare tire, wheel wrench and tripod jack, a shovel, jumper cables, tow chains, a bag of salt or cat litter for traction, a flashlight, warm clothing and blankets.

If a driver gets stranded in a snowstorm, experts say they should stay with their vehicle and tie a brightly colored piece of fabric to the antenna or put it in a window. This will help rescuers find the vehicle in the snow.

While some winter car crashes are caused by the weather, most are the result of speeding or other negligent behaviors. When a negligent driver causes a car accident, an injured victim has the right to file a personal injury lawsuit seeking compensation for medical expenses, lost wages and other damages. An attorney could help a victim prepare the claim and negotiate a fair settlement.

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