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Preparing For A Storm

February 28, 2012, 7:02 AM by Kellee Azar

Preparing For A Storm

A brown winter is something we have all become pretty used to. But now that we have another winter storm on our heels, we need to keep in mind some important travel precautions.

Mother Nature has given us a break so far this winter, but it's always a good idea to be prepared for the worst.

With about 70 percent of deaths during winter occurring in vehicles, officials are urging drivers to have some safety precautions in place before this winter storm hits.

"Driving defensively because the whole thing about driving in bad weather is traction make sure that your driving in such a way that you are eliminating as much danger as possible," AAA South Dakota Spokeswoman Marilyn Buskohl said.

Sometimes losing traction on icy roads is out of your control.  But there are some unique ways to get back on the road again.

"Clay based kitty litter and a bag of sand so that you have that in case you get stuck on ice and need traction," Buskohl said.

And while sanders and snow plows can reduce the dangers for drivers, it may also help to leave the house a little bit earlier.

"I usually allow for an extra 10 or 15 minutes. I'm not too concerned with my driving but everyone else around me.  You just have to be really aware of your surroundings," driver Kay Parrott said.

In the grand scheme of things, the extra time for Parrott isn't a big deal.

"Worst case scenario, it may set me back a couple of hour.  But by the next day I will be ready to go," Parrott said.

With many people hitting the roads for their morning commute, sometimes staying safe will go beyond physical driving skills.

"Make sure that the car is ready, that you have checked the battery and the hoses and the lights and the fluids and those kinds of things.  And then make sure that you are ready mentally to face whatever challenges you might have," Buskohl said.

AAA also advises people not drive at all if possible.

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