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Tips for driving in winter weather

A car drives past a pile of dirty snow. (Photo by Sven Hoppe/picture alliance via Getty Images)

With a winter storm headed toward Indiana, many Hoosiers could find themselves on the road as wind, snow, and freezing temperatures arrive late in the day Thursday.

For anyone who must travel during the storm, here’s what you need to know, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

The basics

The safest place to be during a winter storm is at home — but some people will hit the road anyway.

  • Slow down
  • People should increase their following distance on the road so that they have plenty of time to stop for the vehicle ahead of them
  • Don’t crowd a snow plow or travel beside the truck

What to do in an emergency

  • Stay focused on yourself and your passengers
  • Put bright markers on the antenna or windows and keep the interior dome light on
  • Make sure to keep the exhaust pipe clear of any snow and run the car sporadically, this will avoid carbon monoxide poisoning


  • Inspect tires at least once a month and before long road trips
  • Do not inflate tires to the pressure listed on the tire itself, that number is the maximum pressure the tire can hold, not the recommended pressure for the the vehicle

Car seats

  • Parents typically dress children in winter coats for the cold weather, this can interfere with the car seat’s harness
  • Choose thin warm layers and place blankets or coats around the child

Before you go

  • Stock your vehicle
  • Fill up the tank of gas
  • Plan your route