It's not too late to get vehicles winter ready

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— With winter firmly settled in, it's still not too late to prepare your vehicle to brave the bad weather. But waiting too much longer could prove dangerous, as Steamboat's streets will continue to receive regular dumpings of snow from on high.

"Any problems you might have normally are compounded by winter driving conditions," said Bob Logan, the owner-operator of Bob's Downtown Conoco. Logan, whose shop on Lincoln Avenue does mostly maintenance work, said drivers should be sure to maintain fluid levels such as antifreeze and premixed wash fluid.

Flashlights with extra batteries First aid kit with pocket knife Necessary medications Several blankets Sleeping bags Extra newspapers for insulation Plastic bags (for sanitation) Matches Extra set of mittens, socks and a wool cap Rain gear and extra clothes Small sack of sand for generating traction under wheels Small shovel Small tools (pliers, wrench, screwdriver) Booster cables Set of tire chains or traction mats Cards, games and puzzles Brightly colored cloth to use as a flag Canned fruit and nuts Non-electric can opener Bottled water

In addition, owners should check the condition of their batteries, he said. He also stressed that cars need to be fitted with traction tires to better grip the road in icy and snowy conditions.

Logan said his shop is currently booked solid for a week putting on traction tires.

Sgt. Paul Timmons, of the Steamboat Springs Police Department, who has dealt with his share of crashes in Steamboat this winter, said the best precaution against getting into a scrape is to work on your driving.

"I can look at all of our accidents and see where somebody went wrong," he said. "If they would just drive slowly and pay attention to what's going on ahead of them, there would be a lot fewer accidents."

In just one icy day this winter, police were called to more than 20 car accidents in and around Steamboat Springs.

Timmons recommended that truck owners put sandbags in the back of their trucks to weigh them down to avoid sliding. He also said drivers need to carry tow ropes to pull their cars out of ditches if they are not so entrenched that a tow truck is needed.

To reach Avi Salzman call 871-4203 or e-mail asalzman@amigo.net

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