Foul Weather Safety Tips
Frequently, the most slippery surfaces do not appear to be hazardous, such as on bridges, overpasses and underpasses. Even the moisture emitting from car exhausts waiting at a traffic light can quickly freeze on the pavement and can be especially hazardous.
Temperature extremes bring out the worst in vehicles, like dead batteries, soft tires, gasoline freeze, carburetor problems and heating problems. Check your antifreeze and window washer reservoir periodically.
Stock your car with an emergency kit. Include things like warm clothing, boots, stocking cap, gloves, flashlight with fresh batteries, flares, small shovel, sand or kitty litter, blankets and fresh first-aid supplies that would prepare you for the unexpected. Candy or nutritious snacks are a good idea as well. A supply of small candles and matches can provide warmth for many hours and, with precautions, are much safer than running the engine for warmth.
Inform someone of your travel plans; destination, route of travel, and expected arrival time. Cell phones can be great safety insurance, but you will need to know where you are. Stay alert and know your location at all times.
When roads are slippery, drivers must look farther ahead to anticipate emergencies and avoid the need for sudden maneuvers if possible. Last-second stops and turns on slippery pavements cause most skidding.
Do not attempt to drive around or through a scene where other vehicles have obviously had trouble with the road conditions. The same conditions that caused their trouble may still be there when you arrive, and your becoming stalled will only compound the problem. When there is no room to get through, be prepared to stop.
Vehicle lighting systems become especially important during the winter months. Greater demands are placed on the lighting systems with longer nights and reduced visibility. In addition, electrical systems are environmentally sensitive. Drivers must inspect their lights more frequently during the winter and clean them as necessary.
Proper rest is essential because winter driving is more strenuous. Opening a window while on the road is important for fresh air, and it helps drivers hear what is going on around their vehicles.
No matter what precautions are taken, at times conditions will become too hazardous to proceed. Pull off the road at the first safe place, notify your company of the delay and wait until conditions improve before continuing.