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Preparation is Key to Safe Winter Travel in Iowa

December 28, 2011

DES MOINES, Iowa - It's been one of the mildest Decembers in decades, but reviving Iowa-style winter driving skills will soon be necessary.

Now is the time to make sure your battery and tires are ready for the wintry weather ahead, says American Automobile Association spokeswoman Pam Moen.

"Those are probably the two things that get people in the most trouble during the winter weather. Also, make sure that you have all of your lights checked out and that they're working properly, and that you've got a good set of windshield wipers."

Moen warns Iowans not to be lax in preparing a winter survival kit for their vehicles.

"Things like an ice scraper; some traction material - whether it's sand, salt or cat litter; a snow shovel, a flashlight and some basic tools - and certainly, some warm clothing and blankets in case you would get stranded."

Pay attention to the weather forecast and road conditions before leaving on a trip, Moen says.

"Every year, there are people who die because they become stranded in extreme winter conditions and don't have the proper supplies, or don't know what to do to keep themselves safe until help can get to them."

Some water, non-perishable food, and a cell phone and charger are other essentials for longer road trips this winter, Moen says.

Reports on road conditions across the state are available by calling 511 or online at

Dick Layman, Public News Service - IA