Winter Driving Tips
BEFORE YOU LEAVE:
Keep your gasoline tank as full as possible, wiper blades and defroster in good working order.
Carry a fully charged cellular phone. A CB radio or amateur radio can be a very useful item in emergencies.
Use major roads for your travel. Let someone know the route you are taking and when you plan to arrive.
A winter survival kit is a must! Remember to leave a window slightly open if you use your car's own heater as a heat source. Carbon monoxide poisoning can happen without the victim even being aware of it, until it is too late.
WINTER SURVIVAL KIT CHECKLIST:
Sleeping bags, or several heavy blankets (wool)
Coffee can with candles for heat
Coffee can with lid for sanitary needs
Wool hats, gloves, socks and warm shoes
First Aid kit with pocket knife
Large box of facial tissues
Flashlight with extra batteries
Canned nuts, dried fruit and hard candy
Weather Radio and/or radio with extra batteries
Small sack of sand or set of chains for tires
Picture you and/or your family trapped in a car during a winter storm. If you can think of anything else you would want in the car with you (i.e. a deck of playing cards, diapers, etc), add them to your kit.
HYPOTHERMIA CAN KILL:
When the body begins to lose heat faster than it can produce it, a condition called hypothermia begins to develop.
The symptoms become very apparent and include those listed below.
Uncontrollable shivering Vague, slow, slurred speech Memory lapses; incoherence Immobile, fumbling hands Apparent exhaustion; inability to get up after a rest Frequent stumbling
PROTECT YOURSELF AND YOUR FAMILY:
Dress for the outdoor conditions, not for the warmth of the car.
Reduce your speed when traveling in winter weather.
If you become stranded in winter weather, stay with your vehicle and don't try to walk to safety.
If stranded, run the motor for about 10 minutes each hour for heat. Open a window slightly for fresh air. Make sure the exhaust pipe is not blocked.
If stranded, tie a colored cloth (preferably red) to the antenna and turn on the dome light at night when the motor is running. This will make your vehicle more visible to rescuers.
If stranded, don't let all occupants sleep at the same time. Exercise and stretch as best you can.
What To Do If Your Car Breaks Down on the Highway:
At the first sign of car trouble, gently and smoothly take your foot off the accelerator.
Do not brake hard or suddenly.
Carefully work your vehicle toward the breakdown lane or the side of the road.
If you are on an interstate, try to reach an exit.
Signal your intentions to drivers behind you. If it is necessary to change lanes, watch your mirrors and the traffic around you closely.
Once off the road, make your car visible. Put reflectorized triangles or flares behind your vehicle to alert other drivers; use your emergency flashers. If it is dark, turn on the interior dome light.
When you have a flat tire, be certain that you can change it safely without being close to traffic. If that is possible, change the tire as you normally would. Remember, safety must take precedence over your schedule or whatever other concerns you may have.
If your car is beyond repair, it is best to get professional help. Do not try to flag down other vehicles. Raise your hood and tie something white to the radio antenna or hang it out a window so Troopers or tow truck operators will know help is needed. Don't stand behind or next to your vehicle. If the car is in the roadway, stand away from the vehicle and wait for help to arrive.
If your car is safely out of traffic, wait inside the vehicle with the doors locked. Use your cellular phone to call for help. If someone stops and offers to help, open the window slightly and ask them to call the police.
Watch for a uniformed Officer or other emergency personnel. All interstate highways and major roads are patrolled regularly. Also, some highways have special "call-for-help" phones.
It is inadvisable to walk on an interstate, especially during inclement weather. However, if you can reach a source of help on foot, without jeopardizing your physical or personal safety, try the direct approach by walking. Keep as far from traffic as possible and walk on the right side of the roadway. Never attempt to cross a multi-lane, high-speed roadway.