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Ridgefield Park-Hasbrouck Heights Daily Voice serves Hasbrouck Heights, Little Ferry, Moonachie, Ridgefield Park & Wood-Ridge
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Ridgefield Park-Hasbrouck Heights Daily Voice serves Hasbrouck Heights, Little Ferry, Moonachie, Ridgefield Park & Wood-Ridge

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Driving in snow: Tips worth remembering

Photo Credit: Cliffview Pilot
Photo Credit: Cliffview Pilot

If you grew up around here, like me, you treat this Northeastern weather no differently than anything else: You do what you gotta do. But every now and then, reminders help — especially when driving. Here are some.

Yeah, yeah, GPS is the shizzle. But you should have a road map, just in case.

The cellphone should be charged.

And don’t forget a blanket — especially if you have kids in the car.

Goes without saying for many of us, but y’never know:

Shovels, windshield scrapers, booster cables, and a brightly-colored cloth can come in real handy, particularly if you go sliding down one of those Garden State Parkway embankments.

Jerry DeMarco Publisher.Editor

I’ve done this since my first car — a ‘65 Chrysler 300 with 104,000 miles on it when I bought it: Keep a bag of sand or non-clumping cat litter to spread under your tires if you get stuck. The extra junk in the trunk doesn’t hurt in helping your tires dig in.

Don’t rely on the heater: Wear a coat. Even if you don’t put them on, bring gloves and a wool hat. If you get stuck or break down and have to walk a good distance, you don’t want hypothermia as an added bonus.

If you’re headed on a trip, it doesn’t hurt to tell someone close to you where you’re going, how you’re getting there, and when you expect to get back. Give them a shout when you get there. And be sure to fill up BEFORE you head off. Take stops to make a sissy, buy a cup o’ Joe or do something to help keep you alert.

I know you know, but for those who don’t:

Seat belt: ALWAYS bucked.

Brake gently. Start easing down on that pedal a good distance BEFORE you reach the intersection: Nothing ruins a routine trip to the Stop & Shop like sliding right through a STOP sign and getting t-boned by an SUV.

If your ride starts to slide: Ease off the pedals, steer in the direction of the skid, and straighten the vehicle. If you have anti-lock brakes, slam ’em and hold ’em.

Set your headlight on dim in the fog; drive slowly and increase following distance; only go as fast as you can see room to stop; and be ready to deal with slick spots.

And by all means, if you can’t see, pull over to a safe place and wait it out. Text a friend where you are, just in case. Pop on a relaxing tune and enjoy the opportunity for a moment of peace amid the nuttiness of life.

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