Tips to Drive on Snow Like a Pro

It is a white winter in many parts of the United States with the polar vortex and record-breaking cold. Storms are bringing winter precipitation to normally warm areas including snowfall in Hawaii.

Blowing snow and ice can create poor visibility and challenge the skills of any driver. Professional racer and driving expert Jordi Gené is offering some tips for winter driving.530505

It may be easy to become a white-knuckled driver when facing harsh conditions. Gené says it is vital to plan ahead and stay calm; “Anticipate what’s ahead and take it easy, that’s the basic rule for driving in harsh conditions.”

“Using the engine brake is fundamental. Driving downhill in low gears will help handle the vehicle and it takes a lighter toll on the brakes”, explains Gené.

530507His recommendation applies to both winter and summer, but is especially true in the cold season as at low temperatures the wheels lose grip on the asphalt.

There are shadows on the road and those may hold dangerous surprises Gené cautions: “When driving on snow, pay careful attention to dark patches on the road where there could be black ice. You have to turn the wheel gently and lightly step on the brake until you’re over the ice patch and the wheels begin to gain grip again”, he points out.530506

The driving expert recommends increasing the safety distance between your vehicle and other cars during inclement weather. The professional driver keeps an emergency kit in the vehicle in case there is an accident or a long wait on a highway. Your emergency kit should be personalized to reflect your family’s size and needs, but should contain blankets, water, non-perishable food, first-aid supplies and any other essentials should you become stranded in a winter storm. These steps and frequent inspections of your vehicle will help make your winter travel safer.stocksnap_dmt6vye04m.jpg

Tips to Keep Pets Healthy and Happy in Winter

Chiled_Pup_sofa_StockSnap_6D8141O2SPCold weather is the perfect time for cuddling indoors with your pet. Many people believe cold weather doesn’t bother dogs and cats because they have fur. This is untrue. Cats and dogs are susceptible to frostbite and hypothermia just like people. Veterinarians advise no pet should be left outdoors for long periods of time in frigid weather. Cats and dogs should be kept inside when it is below-freezing.

It is a good idea to check micro-chip information and check pets’ collars at the beginning of winter because snow and ice mask scent cues that help pets find their way home if they should get separated from their owner.10363504_10204074765253668_1129290927636256801_n

Be aware a warm vehicle engine can be an appealing heat source for outdoor and feral cats, but it’s deadly. Check underneath your car, bang on the hood, and honk the horn before starting the engine to encourage feline hitchhikers to abandon their resting space under the hood.

There are other pet hazards in your driveway or garage for pets. Keep ice melts, antifreeze and coolant locked away. These chemicals are lethal to dogs and cats. Clean up any spills from vehicles promptly.

Pet paws are sensitive to sand, ice, snow and chemical ice melts. Massage petroleum jelly or another protectant onto paw pads or consider the use of pet booties when your pet goes outdoors in winter.B-Zi-3eCcAA3jJq

When walking your dog, stay away from frozen ponds, lakes and other water. You don’t know if the ice will support your dog’s weight, and if your dog breaks through the ice it could be deadly

Some pets are more tolerant to the cold than others. However, some dogs and cats may benefit from a vest or coat designed for pets to offer a little more insulation. Don’t forget your pet’s skin. The combination of cold air and dry indoor heat can impact their skin. Itching and flaking may result, causing pets to scratch. Maintain humidity in the home and reduce bathing to help preserve essential oils on your pet’s skin.

Cold weather can aggravate some health issues such as arthritis. The American Veterinary Medical Association suggests scheduling a wellness visit with a veterinarian to check for any medical issues to be prepared for winter.

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Tips on Potholes and Avoiding Damage From Bumps in the Road

GM_31438_373933Spring is officially here, but winter like weather is hanging around in many parts of the United States.

 Extreme weather and changing conditions are creating a lasting problem for drivers: pothole! Highways have turned into costly obstacle courses. According to AAA Mid-Atlantic, potholes and poor roads cost drivers $6.4 billion dollars in repairs, last year. And while no one plans to hit one, they are inevitable and in many cases unavoidable.

GM_31438_373931Whether it’s a flat tire, lost hubcap, warped wheel alignment or a bent axle, a pothole can cause significant damage to your car. So how can you avoid potential bumps in road? According to GM experts, some of the most important things drivers can do during pothole season include:

● Maintain the recommended tire inflation
● Use winter tires
● Slow down and watch for street hazards
● Have your vehicle’s alignment checked after hitting more severe potholes

Yoiu can watch the expert on how to avoid potholes: