Driving a vehicle, of any kind, has its dangers. When snow and ice are involved the risk for an accident increases. Winter roadways create their own hazards that people need to be prepared for. Having the right knowledge and being prepared for emergency situations can make driving this winter a little more bearable.
Before going out on winter roads there are some things to consider.
Although proper vehicle maintenance is always important, winter preparation for your car, truck or SUV should top the list. Make sure to check, or have a mechanic check, your vehicle from top to bottom. Check oil levels, heaters and defrosters, the thermostat and lights. Also, be sure to have good, properly working windshield wipers with a deicing windshield fluid. Other good tips before braving the winter roads are to get good winter tires placed on your vehicle, and always keep the gas at half a tank or more.
Once you have prepared your vehicle for the extra stress of snowy or icy roads, you need to make sure you have proper supplies for yourself in case of an emergency. Something as simple as a winter emergency kit can make a world of difference in the event of a crash. A winter emergency kit should include a shovel, scraper, flashlight, battery powered radio with extra batteries, warning symbols/flares and a First Aide Kit with pocket knife. Some of these items may seem unnecessary, but winter weather can change in a matter of seconds throwing you into white out blizzard conditions. It’s better to be over prepared and have no accidents than to be under prepared and end up stuck off the road.
Other items to have on hand for winter driving are extra clothes, hats, blankets and gloves. Make sure to have matches, water and snack foods packed. Do not pack any fresh or frozen foods. And, most importantly, have a large enough water supply to last a few days. If at all possible do not travel alone, or when you know the weather is going to become intense. Take a cell phone with a fully charged battery and bring along a car charger or extra battery.
Winter driving has its hazards, but being prepared will help. Be sure to drive according to road conditions. Showing up late is better than not showing up at all. Prepare your vehicle with proper Safety and Emergency Supplies. In a worst case scenario, STAY WITH YOUR VEHICLE. We can’t avoid winter driving, but we can make it safer. So go out there and brave the roads, make your deliveries on time and visit those relatives for the holidays. Just remember, 10 and 2 with both eyes on the road and follow the stripes home.