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Police Urge Safe Driving as Winter Sets In

Millions of Americans are hitting the road for Thanksgiving. Sgt. Noel Houze, with the Indiana State Police Post in Versailles, is urging you to take all of the necessary steps to ensure you make it home safely.

Houze says the first step is to do all you can to lessen your chances of being stranded. That, he says, involves preparing your vehicle for ice, snow and cold. Houze says you should check your tire tread depth, including on your spare. If you switch to snow tires in the winter, he says now may be a good time to do it. Houze also urges you to check your vehicle's fluids and battery.

One big tip to avoid being stranded, Houze says, is taking the time to ensure you have maximum visibility inside your vehicle. Too many times, he says, drivers will clear out small "portholes" in frosty car windows. Houze says that is dangerous and could lead to you driving off the road, hurting yourself or someone else. He says all drivers need to make the adjustment to leaving a little earlier every day during the winter months.

If you do find yourself stranded, Houze says you will be in much better shape if you have packed an emergency kit in each of your vehicles. He says your kit should include blankets, matches, candles, a cell phone charger, snacks, water and other emergency items. Houze also says it is a good idea to carry a bag of sand or kitty litter in case you find your vehicle stuck.

Drivers might also want to consider changing their habits when it comes to filling your vehicle's gas tanks. If you tend to wait until you are nearly out of gas before you fill-up, that could be a dangerous gamble. It is a good idea to not let your tank get less than half-full before you fill it up.

Wherever you are headed, you are urged to allow yourself plenty of time and keep your full attention on the road. If you observe someone driving recklessly, have a passenger dial 911.

Last Updated: Wednesday, November 27, 2013 4:53:57 AM

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