Tips for safe holiday travel

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The National Weather Service has issued a winter storm warning in effect from 7 p.m. Friday, Dec. 21, until 7 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 22.

The region may get 8 to 14 inches of snow by Saturday evening. Adding to the hazard, winds may be gusting up to 35 mph, producing blowing and drifting snow, causing very poor visibility and making travel extremely difficult.

The National Safety Council has a comprehensive site dedicated to safe driving.

Here are some basic tips:

Before heading out, make sure your vehicle is ready and equipped.

• Fill the tank

• Inflate tires properly

• Make sure wipers are working

• Make sure your lights are working — headlights, brake lights and turn signals

• Check fluid levels, including oil, brake, anti-freeze, power steering and washer

While driving, be cautious.

• Wear seatbelts — that goes for everyone in the vehicle

• Maintain a safe speed for the conditions; less than the speed limit if necessary

• Use caution and care when braking. Start braking early. Avoid last-minute heavy or sudden braking

• Keep a distance of at least 3 seconds between you and the car in front of you

• Avoid sharp turning movements; make gradual lane changes