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Avoiding winter driving mistakes

EAU CLAIRE, Wis (WEAU)-- Most of us are used to bitter cold temperatures that Western Wisconsin winters dish out But even experienced winter survivors can fall victim to common winter faux pas

Like did you know? Leaving your car running with keys in the ignition and running into a store is illegal in Eau Claire.

"Eau Claire has an ordinance that does not allow drivers to keep their engines running when they are away from the vehicle. It’s to help prevent stolen vehicles and then there is liability if you leave your car running and its stolen you could be liable for what happens," said Kyle Roder with Eau Claire Police Department.

Roder says there is an exception for automatic starters because you don’t have to have the keys in the ignition. He also says don't skimp on a scraping this winter.

“It’s really important that you clean the snow off your window completely so you have full range of view. A lot of people forget about the hood of the vehicle. Then what happens is people start driving and the snow blows up in to the windshield and blocks they’re view.

And did you know? That even if your garage door open while you’re warming up your car you run the risk of getting carbon monoxide poisoning.

"Carbon monoxide will seep into the house. When you leave you usually close the garage door and that can trap the carbon monoxide," said Roger Pomplun with Hovlands Heating and Air-Conditioning.

Pomplun says the safest way to warm up your car is to back it out into your drive at least enough so the exhaust pipes are outside.

"So the exhaust will exhaust outside, said Pomplun.

Another tip is to make sure your car is warmed up before you start your windshield wipers. Mechanics say broken windshield wipers are the most common thing they see this time of year.

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