Drivers gearing up for winter storm

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Tuesday's forecast features the 'S' word, and for many metro motorists, snow means it's time to get prepared.

"I totaled my vehicle just before New Year's in icy conditions," said Liam Morrisroe, who is no stranger to the harsh reality of driving in the snow.

"I hit black ice and I over-corrected and then consequently totaled my truck," he added.

Kansas City and surrounding areas are expecting our biggest snow storm so far this season, meaning hazardous driving conditions are expected.

"I'm not so much concerned about the car that I'm driving, but I'm concerned about cars that other people are driving and their level of awareness when they're on the road," Liam said.

If you must drive, there are things you can do to ensure your car can handle the heavy snow that's on the way.

"Make sure your coolant is at the proper level of freeze protection, make sure your tires are properly inflated -- that's key to traction, especially in the snow and the ice," said Christopher Kopek, the manager of KC Complete Automotive.

He said if your car is caught up with scheduled maintenance you should be fine. He also said there are three things you absolutely must get checked before a big snow storm is your coolant, battery, and tires.

"The old thing, 'Oh lower your tire pressure when it snows.' No, you want to keep it at the manufacturers recommended pressure," Kopek added, "You want to make sure your battery is at a good state of charge, because when it's really cold, your battery just doesn't have the ability to turn over the engine, because it doesn't have as much available energy."

Morrisroe said he's going to try to avoid totaling another car.

"I'll do as little driving as I can tomorrow, that's for sure, unless I have to go get someone else who gets stranded!" Morrisroe said.

Both the Missouri and Kansas departments of transportation will have crews working 12-hour shifts around the clock to try and clear the roads as much as possible. Experts recommend making sure someone knows you're traveling, have an emergency kit in your car at all times, your lights are clean and visible, and do not get out of your car. It's recommended that you stay inside with your seat belt on.

Be sure to check road conditions before heading out, give yourself plenty of time, and allow make sure you give yourself enough room between you and the car in front of you.

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