Driving in winter weather conditions can be hazardous especially in areas that receive a large amount of snow and ice. Unless an emergency has occurred, it’s always best to stay off the roads. If you must drive, allow yourself extra time to reach your destination and make sure your vehicle emergency kit contains the following items:
- Road salt, sand or kitty litter for traction;
- Emergency flares, lantern or chemical “lightsticks”
- An ice scraper
- A shovel
- SLOW DOWN!
- Turn on your headlights. Use windshield wipers and defrosters. (Do not drive if your windows aren’t clear of ice or snow).
- Leave extra room between your vehicle and the vehicle in front of you.
- Do not use cruise control.
- Slow down when approaching intersections, off-ramps, bridges, or shady areas. Bridges freeze before roadways do. SLOW DOWN!
- Know how your car brakes in ice and snow. Some cars’ braking systems require that you pump the brakes to maintain traction. Newer cars require that you keep an even, steady pressure on the brake pedal – even if you feel it shudder. That means it’s working. Keep steady pressure on the brake pedal.
Before winter weather sets in, it’s a good plan to have your car or truck checked out by a mechanic to make sure all systems are ready for cold weather and snow.
- Cooling System
- Windshield Wipers
- Electrical System and Battery
- Lights and Turn Signals
In addition, it is important to give snow plows extra room. If you find yourself behind a snow plow, slow down and don’t crowd the plow! Remember to always pass plows on the left side.
Freezing temps can create what’s called “black ice” on highways. It’s dangerous. Here’s a really good tutorial on how to drive on black ice and icy roads so you get to where you need to go.