Winter driving can be hazardous and scary, especially in the northern regions where some of you may be driving over the holiday period. Have no fear, additional preparations can help make it a safe trip.
Use the three P’s (Prepare, Protect and Prevent) for Safe Winter Driving.
Prepare for your trip
Maintain your car: Check the battery, tire tread and windshield, keep your windows clean, put no-freeze fluid in the washer reservoir, and check your antifreeze
Have on Hand: Flashlight, jumper cables, abrasive material (sand, kitty litter, even floor mats), shovel, snow brush and ice scraper, warning devices (like flares), and blankets. For long trips, add food and water, medication and a cell phone.
Stopped or Stalled: Stay in your car, don’t overexert, put bright markers on the antenna or windows and shine the dome light, and if you run your car, clear exhaust pipe and run it just enough to stay warm.
Plan Your Route: Allow plenty of time (check the weather and leave early if necessary), be familiar with the maps/directions, and let others know your route and estimated arrival time
Buckle up and use child safety seats properly. Never place a rear-facing infant seat in front of an air bag. Children 12 and under are much safer in the back seat.
Prevent crashes on the road
Drugs and alcohol never mix with driving. Slow down and increase distances between cars. Keep your eyes open for pedestrians walking in the road. Avoid fatigue – Get plenty of rest before the trip, stop at least every three hours, and rotate drivers if possible. If you are planning to drink, designate a sober driver.
By taking all of these precautions you should be better prepared to protect yourself and prevent crashes during your winter driving.