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Expect that your drive will take longer than normal and plan accordingly. Don't risk your safety by rushing.
Expect that your drive will take longer than normal and plan accordingly. Don't risk your safety by rushing. / Romeo Banias/Getty Images

Three of the six deadliest days on the road happen during the holiday season, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration: New Year’s, Thanksgiving and Christmas.

Stressed holiday drivers and winter weather can be a treacherous combination. Ralph Garcia, a driver with ABS Freight Transportation Inc., and Tilden Curl, a spokesman for the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association, offer tips this season.

Slow down. “Most of the time, with the ice, it’s just too hard to find your traction,” says Garcia. “Drop your speed, slow down, always have a safe clearing distance.” But sometimes, simply decreasing speed is not the answer. “The best thing to do, if it’s too icy and too slippery, is get off the road and find a safe spot.”

Keep warm. For extended trips during the holidays, Curl suggests bringing extra layers. “Make sure you take a lot of blankets in case you get stuck on the road. In this type of weather, it’s possible.”

Pad your time. There are never more cars on the road than during the holiday season. People are just in “too big of a hurry.” Allow for an hour instead of rushing to reach your destination in 45 minutes.

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