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Winter Travel in New England

Airports

If you are coming to New England in winter, check the temperatures here before you depart. If the temperature here is below 35 degrees Fahrenheit, a spring or fall jacket is not going to cut it. Getting from the airport to a car is going to be painful if you didnít carry a real winter coat on the plane.
No matter what the temperature, I recommend a coat with a full sized hood. The hood will act as an umbrella in rain and a hat in the cold.
If it is below 35 degrees with snow, rain, or slush on the ground, sneakers will not be enough. In the time it takes you to get to the car, your feet will feel frozen and that discomfort will quickly spread to the rest of your body. If you donít own a pair of proper winter boots that are lined, then work boots or hiking boots will be better than sneakers.


Electronics

If you are traveling to cold climates with electronic devices, be aware that leaving them in the car over night may damage them. LCD screens are particularly susceptible to freezing and the display may crack if left for several hours in freezing temperatures.

Cold weather causes more drain on batteries. Keep electronic devices and spare batteries close to the body. If it is cold and your device is not working, despite having new batteries in it, try rubbing the batteries between your hands to warm them up and then put them back in the device and try again.


Car Rentals Suggestions

If you are headed into snow country, 4WD or AWD is preferred, though not required.
If you rent a four wheel drive, or all wheel drive vehicle, remember that while it will get better traction going up hills or driving in deep snow, it will be NO safer or less likely to skid than its 2WD counterparts. Drive with the same caution in bad weather.
If you can avoid it, donít rent an SUV or minivan that only has rear wheel drive for driving in snow. A car of any variety will handle better and be safer.

Driving On Snow and Ice
Handling Your Car While Skidding

If your car does not have anti-lock brakes and you start skidding on the ice, gently pump your brakes to maintain better control and prevent your wheels from locking. Do not slam on the brakes full force.
If your car does have anti-lock brakes, apply solid pressure on your brakes when skidding on the ice. Pumping your brakes prevents the anti-lock system from taking over.

If you find yourself in a serious spin despite following the braking directions above, turn the wheel into the spin, being careful not to overcompensate. It is a knee jerk reaction to turn it in the opposite direction that your car is spinning in. Donít do it.


If You Get Stuck in Snow

If you get stuck in the snow and canít get out, or your car breaks down in the snow, stay in the car and wait for help. Run the engine and heater sparingly. Make sure that your exhaust pipe is clear of snow and ventilate your car by cracking a window so that carbon monoxide fumes won't poison you.

Well, now that I have discouraged any and all winter travel in New England, I hope that you have a safe journey. Most people who drive carefully will not encounter any of the situations listed above, but it can happen, especially to people who are not accustomed to driving in winter weather.

Go slow. Leave plenty of space between you and all other traffic. Pump the brakes slowly and anticipate in advance. Never turn the wheel with your foot on the brake. Wear appropriate winter clothing.

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