NMDOT offers tips for safe winter driving

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – As the weather continues to cool down over the next few weeks, our roads can become dangerous.

On top of weather challenges, drivers also face construction and an increase in holiday traffic. That is why the New Mexico Department of Transportation shared tips to help drivers navigate winter conditions.

Officials say the most important thing to remember is to wear a seatbelt and, before you go anywhere, to make sure your vehicle has at least half a tank of gas and that your windshield washer fluid and antifreeze are as full as possible.

A few other tips officials say, include checking that your tires are inflated properly and brushing off any excess snow on your vehicle. If the weather is snowy or icy, drive slow.

NMDOT also says to avoid relying on cruise control and slamming on your brakes.

“You want to hit the brakes lightly and slow down in increments if you can because you’re not going to have any traction hitting the brakes hard all at once,” said Jim Murray, with NMDOT. “Be aware of your surroundings and try to maintain a good distance from everybody else.”

If you do hit ice and start sliding, Murray says not to panic – just try to steer into the direction you are sliding until you regain control.

NMDOT also recommends checking weather and road conditions in real-time on the NMRoads website so you know what you are getting into and can make a plan before you hit the road.