Winter Driving Can Bе Hazardous & Stressful
Wind, snow, ice, and blizzard conditions increase the normal dangers of driving. Thеrе іѕ а lot уоu саn do bеfоrе the winter driving season and during а storm tо protect уоurѕеlf and уоur family.
The Travelers Indemnity Company offers up some tips for driving in the snow.
- Make sure your car is prepared for cold temperatures and wintery conditions like snow and ice. Keep your equipment properly maintained and include a winter survival kit in your vehicle: an ice scraper, snow shovel and sand/salt.
- Clear snow and ice off your car – including windows, mirrors, lights, reflectors, hood, roof and trunk.
- Drive with your headlights on, and be sure to keep them clean to improve visibility.
- Use caution when snow banks limit your view of oncoming traffic.
- Avoid using cruise control in snowy or icy conditions. In adverse conditions, you want as much control of your car as possible.
- Know how to brake on slippery surfaces. Vehicles with anti-lock brakes operate much differently from those that do not have anti-lock brakes. You should consult your vehicle’s owner’s manual for instructions on how to brake properly if your vehicle should start to skid.
- Maintain at least a half tank of gas during the winter season. This helps ensure you have a source of heat if you are stuck or stranded.
- If you do venture out or are unexpectedly caught in a snowstorm and encounter problems, stay in your car and wait for help. You can run the car heater to stay warm for 10 minutes every hour, but make sure your exhaust pipe is clear of snow. There is a danger of carbon monoxide poisoning if snow blocks the pipe and enables the deadly gas to build up in your car. Open your window slightly to help prevent the buildup.
- Keep your windshield washer reservoir full, and make sure your car has wiper blades that are in good condition.
- Remember that speed limits are meant for dry roads, not roads covered in snow and ice. You should reduce your speed and increase your following distance as road conditions and visibility worsen.
- Be cautious on bridges and overpasses as they are commonly the first areas to become icy.
- Avoid passing snow plows and sand trucks. The drivers can have limited visibility, and the road in front of them could be worse than the road behind.
- Monitor road and weather conditions by checking local news stations or Internet traffic and weather sites.
- If you must travel during a snowstorm or in blizzard conditions, be sure to let a relative, friend or coworker know where you are headed and your expected arrival time. Avoid the temptation to check or be on your phone while driving as all of your attention should be on arriving safely.
According to the National Traffic Safety Institute (NTSI), it is important to have a winter survival kit in your vehicle. Here is some great information.
Having essential supplies can provide some comfort and safety for you and your passengers. The following items are recommended for your winter driving survival kit:
- Ice scraper/snowbrush
- Sand or other type of traction aid
- Tow rope or chain
- Booster cables
- Road flares or warning lights
- Gas line antifreeze
- Flashlight and batteries
- First aid kit
- Fire extinguisher
- Small tool kit
- Extra clothing and foot wear
- Non-perishable energy foods, like chocolate or granola bars, juice, instant coffee, tea, soup, and bottled water
- Candles and a small tin can to hold the candle
- Water proof matches
There is a lot of additional information out on web. Check out some of these articles and websites.
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Stacy and Douglas Skinner are owners of SCS Safety Health & Security Associates. SCS Safety Health & Security Associates helps businesses with their profitability through safety; Safety consulting, safety trainings and meetings, jobsite safety inspections, compliance, OSHA 10 & 30 Hour Courses for the Construction Industry, along with CPR/AED, Basic First Aid, and Bloodborne Pathogen certification classes.
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Douglas has been a Paramedic for 30 years, and enjoys teaching CPR/AED, Basic First Aid, Bloodborne Pathogen courses, along with EMS Education courses. He is also an Adjunct Professor at the college level, teaching paramedicine. His proudest moments are when his students successfully accomplish the Paramedic Certification.
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