Winter is upon us – or very close depending on your tolerance for our current weather. Although most of us like to think we’re pros at traveling in winter weather, it’s never too late for a brief reminder with some tips on how to make sure we arrive at our destination safely.
- Take a moment to open up your favorite weather app on your smartphone (or watch the news if you still have a trusty flip phone) and look at the seven-day forecast. Knowing when and where it might snow can make all the difference in arriving on time and staying out of the ditch.
- Turn your headlights on. This will help ensure other drivers see you.
- Create a winter survival kit that’s always in your vehicle. Don’t forget to include a flashlight, batteries, blankets and snacks (i.e. granola bars). Have a small shovel and some sand/gravel available if you get stuck in the snow. And always carry a car charger for your cell phone.
- Take a moment to clear your vehicle prior to travel. Scrape/brush off all windows, front and rear lamps and license plates.
- Do not let your gas tank drop below a ¼ of a tank. Traffic often slows or stops in the event of an accident. You’ll need enough gas to get you to your destination.
- Make sure to fill your windshield washer reservoir. Anyone familiar with cold weather climate knows running out can be dangerous when your windshield is covered with salt and slush.
- Be careful on bridges and overpasses, where both sides of the road are exposed to cold air thus freezing over quicker than most roads.
- Know your vehicle. Know how it reacts when you brake hard or pump the brakes. Vehicles have different braking systems and you should have a comfort level prior to traveling in winter weather.
- If the weather calls for snow, let a friend or family know where and when you’re going and most importantly, what time you’ll arrive.
- Most importantly, take your time. Remember safety is always more important than arriving a few minutes earlier.
For more tips on winter preparedness, check out our Winter Defense blog series.