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Preparation is Key to Safe Winter Travel Illinois

January 3, 2012

CHICAGO - It's been a pretty mild winter in Illinois so far, but reviving Lincolnland-style winter driving skills will soon be necessary. Pam Moen, spokeswoman for the American Automobile Association (AAA), says now is the time to make sure your battery and tires are ready for the wintry weather.

"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."

Most Illinois drivers know this, but Moen warns everyone 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."

Another important tip, according to Moen, is to pay attention to the weather forecast and road conditions before leaving on a trip.

"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."

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

Mary Anne Meyers, Public News Service - IL