By Hadas Kuznits

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — A local expert says it’s necessary to change the way you drive in severe weather.

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Jim Lardear, with AAA Midatlantic, says in bad weather — such as what’s expected this weekend — it’s important that drivers slow down on the road to remain at least 8-10 seconds behind the car you are following.

“In inclement weather, slow down, give yourself a little bit of extra cushion room in case you have to deal with something — a slippery road, another driver who might be out of control,” he advises.  “Because you don’t want to put on the brakes and put your car into a skid in an emergency situation.  You want to have plenty of time to bring your car slowly under control.”

And Lardear points out that you often can’t predict when you’ll hit the next dangerous patch of road.

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“As the weather changes, driving conditions are going to change, and it sometimes can be very surprising on how quickly that happens,” he notes.

Of course, he adds, you’ll want to keep a windshield scraper and a shovel in your trunk all winter long.  And what else, especially for longer trips?

“Blankets, emergency reflectors or flares, non-perishable snacks such as granola bars and water, a cell phone charger if you think you’re going to be out for a while.”

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