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Published:  February 4, 2011

Safe Driving in Icy Conditions

Many Houstonians are unfamiliar with driving in the kind of icy conditions we face today. Here are some tips to help make your drive safer:

Driving in Cold, Icy Weather
•         Never warm up a vehicle in an enclosed area, such as a garage.
•         Be sure your tires are properly inflated. (See your owner’s manual for tire air pressure guidelines.)
•         Keep your gas tank at least half full to avoid gas line freeze-up.
•         If possible, avoid using your parking brake in cold, rainy and snowy weather.
•         Do not use cruise control when driving on any slippery surface (wet, ice, sand).
•         Always look and steer where you want to go.
•         Use your seat belt every time you are in a vehicle. 
•         Avoid driving when you’re tired. Getting the proper amount of rest before taking on winter weather reduces driving risks.

Defrosting Your Windshield
•         Do not pour hot water on your windshield, as it may crack.
•         Start your car. The car needs to be running before you can begin defrosting the windshield.
•         Turn on the defrost option in your vehicle. It should be set to the highest heat on a low speed. Higher speeds actually fan out colder air than a lower setting.
•         Wait a few minutes while the defroster melts the ice on your windshield. Once it is melted, you can wipe away the water with your windshield wipers.
•         In a hurry, you can start the car with the defrost mode running and use an ice scraper to get rid of the frost.

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