With a blast of cold came blowing snow to western Massachusetts and New England on Thursday. With that came the unique driving experience and the inevitable crashes.
A driving school in West Springfield offered some driving tips for residents venturing out into the snow and bitter cold temperatures.
Elm Auto School driving instructor Bethany Guarnera said it was very important to make sure your vehicle was prepared to tackle the elements. She said drivers need to check their tires, their windshield wipers, windshield wiper fluid and other major driving components. She said all windows must be clear and all snow must be removed from vehicles before hitting the road. Massachusetts state police can ticket drivers for excess snow and ice flying from their vehicle and those drivers are liable if they cause damage to other vehicles.
Drivers can also be fined for failing to turn on their headlights during inclement weather like rain, fog and snow.
Guarnera recommended drivers keep an emergency kit in the car in case of an emergency. She said any auto parts store sells kits with everything a driver would need. She also recommended carrying blankets and extra warm weather gear and a snack or two in case the car became stranded.
While driving, she cautioned drivers to know the limits of their vehicles and to exercise patience. Guarnera said it was important to slow down and keep plenty of distance between vehicles.
While many in New England have grown up driving in the snow, others may not have much, if any experience. She said Elm Auto School offered one-on-one driving classes for anyone interested in learning how to drive safely in the snow.
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