Maintain Your Car: Check battery, tire tread, and windshield wipers, keep your windows clear, put no-freeze fluid in the washer reservoir, and check your antifreeze.
Have On Hand: flashlight, jumper cables, abrasive material (sand, kitty litter, even floor mats), shovel, snow brush and ice scraper, warning devices (like flares) and blankets. For long trips, add food and water, medication and cell phone.
Stopped or Stalled? Stay in your car, don’t overexert, put bright markers on antenna or windows and shine dome light, and, if you run your car, clear exhaust pipe and run it just enough to stay warm.
Plan Your Route: Allow plenty of time (check the weather and leave early if necessary), be familiar with the maps/directions, and let others know your route and arrival time.
Practice Cold Weather Driving!
- During daylight, rehearse maneuvers slowly on ice or snow in an empty lot.
- Steer into a skid.
- Know what your brakes will do: stop on antilock brakes, pump on non-antilock brakes.
- Stopping distances are longer on water-covered ice and ice.
- Don’t idle for a long time with windows up or in an enclosed space
- Buckle up and use child safety seats properly.
- Never place a rear-facing infant seat in front of an air bag.
- Children 12 and under are much safer in the back seat.
- Drugs and alcohol never mix with driving
- Slow down and increase distance between cars.
- Keep your eyes open for pedestrians walking in the road.
- Avoid fatigue – Get plenty of rest before the trip, stop at least every three hours, and rotate drivers if possible.
- If you are planning to drink, designate a sober driver
This article is based from the official U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) publication “Winter Driving Safety“. For more about OSHA go to http://osha.gov.
Everyone should be cautious about traveling in extreme winter weather.
- Plan before you travel– Simple Planning can save trouble and even save your life – Follow the 6 P’s
- Prepare your vehicle– Be sure your vehicle is in good winter driving condition especially your battery, windshield wipers/fluid and tires. Equip your vehicle with a 72 hour emergency car kit.
- Be aware of the weather– Listen to forecasts, road reports and storm warnings. Review the UDOT traffic cameras. Dress appropriately. Allow extra time for trips during severe weather
- Make yourself easy to find– Tell someone where you are going and your expected time of arrival.
- Stay in your vehicle– Walking in a storm can be very dangerous. You might lose your way, bet frost bite or even become Your vehicle is a good shelter doing a severe storm.
- Avoid Overexertion – Shoveling snow or trying to push a car out will cause overexertion and may lead to injury or a heart attack. Plus it will make you sweat making you more acceptable to hypothermia
- Keep fresh air in your vehicle – Make sure your exhaust pipe is clear of snow. A clogged tailpipe can cause deadly carbon monoxide gas to enter your car. Keep snow off the radiator to prevent your car from overheating
- Keep a Winter Car Kit available – Make sure you store your winter car kit in your vehicle and not your truck. Items to have in a Winter Car Kit. Shovel, Flashlight, Blankets, extra clothes, boots, water, food, kitty litter, snow chains, hand warmers, first aid kit, etc.
Checklist of items to have:
-Battery-powered radio with extra batteries
-Flashlight with extra batteries
-Water- Replace every 6 months and keep ¾ full to allow for freeze expansion
-Extra hats, coats, and mittens
-Chains or rope
-Road salt, sand, cat litter to help tires get traction
-Bright colored flag or help signs
-First aid kit with pocket knife
-Hazard or other reflectors
-Emergency distress flag
-Cell phone adapter to plug into lighter