As the Christmas holiday nears with each passing day, the roads are becoming increasingly busy with travelers hoping to wrap up their last minute shopping or venture home to visit family. While it may not look dangerous now, there is always potential for snow storms and ice buildup. Make sure you and your loved ones stay safe and take your time to prepare for such weather conditions. Below are some safety tips to help you brave the snow, sleet, ice and whatever else may come your way on winter roads.
- Be sure your tires are properly inflated.
- Never warm up your vehicle in an enclosed area like the garage.
- Give yourself ample time to clear off windows.
- Keep your gas tank at least half full to avoid gas line freeze-up.
- Double check that the exhaust pipe isn’t clogged with debris. A blocked exhaust could cause deadly carbon monoxide gas to reach the passenger compartment when the engine is running.
- Avoid using cruise control on any slippery or snowy surfaces
- Accelerate and decelerate slowly. Rushing will cause your car to skid out of control.
- Increase your normal following distance to eight to ten seconds.
- Try not to rush going up hills. Get some inertia before you reach the hill and let that carry you to the top.
- Go down hills as slowly as possible.
- Know how to use your brakes. The best way to stop is by keeping the heel of your foot on the floor and using the ball of your foot to apply firm and steady pressure on the brake pedal.
Long Distance Tips
- Always have blankets, gloves, hats, food, water and any medications packed in case you get stranded.
- Stay with your vehicle if you become stranded. It will provide shelter and help rescuers locate you easier.
- Tie something bright to your vehicle’s antenna to signal for help.
- At night, keep the dome light on. This uses minimal electricity and is another way to signal for help.
- Do not over exert yourself when trying to shovel your way out or push your car.
- Run the engine and heater long enough to remove the chill while still conserving gasoline.