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How to stay safe on the road this winter

Friday - 1/13/2012, 4:42am  ET

WASHINGTON - Winter might be delayed, but it is certainly coming. In preparation, here are some tips for staying safe on the road.

Get used to using your anti-lock brakes. Your brake pedal will start pulsating when your ABS is activated, which can be frightening if you're not used to it. Drivers' first instinct is often to take their foot off the pedal, which is the worst thing to do.

Jim Battagliese of the WTOP Traffic Center says you should try making a few hard stops on a wet road, a gravel road or a snow-covered street when no one is around in order to get used to the ABS system.

All-wheel drive and 4-wheel drive are especially helpful options in gaining traction to get your car moving. But they will not help at all when it comes to slowing your car down.

Battagliese says plenty of SUV's overturn in the D.C. area during the first snowstorm of the winter because of drivers who went too fast for the conditions.

Additionally, clean your car off completely since any show or ice clinging to the car poses a danger to you and to others. Make sure your headlights and taillights are cleaned off, and that your lights are turned on in order to make yourself more visible to other drivers.

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(Copyright 2012 by WTOP. All Rights Reserved.)