Can you believe it is already the end of January 2012? Here we are in the middle of winter. So far the winter weather has not been too bad here this year, but I know that many other places in the country have not been so lucky. I wanted to review some tips for safer winter driving.
1. Check the weather forecast
That is something that is easy to do, but I sometimes forget to check it myself. If there is some nasty weather coming your way, you can adjust your plans. You may need to leave earlier or cancel your trip.
2. Avoid driving in very bad weather whenever possible
If the weather is REALLY bad, I mean when the National Weather Service has issued a severe winter storm warning or a blizzard warning, just stay home! Call in at work. School will likely be cancelled, but even if it isn't, keep your kids home. Your life and the lives of your children are more important than school or a job.
3. Keep your car maintenance up to date
Keep it tuned up, the oil changed, and the tires rotated. Winterize your car if needed. Replace old windshield wipers, and fix anything that could cause a breakdown. Remember to keep your gas tank full. That way you can keep warm if you get stuck.
4. Drive properly for the conditions
If the road is slick - slow down! Leave plenty of room between you and the car in front of you. Start breaking long before you actually have to stop to avoid skidding. If you do skid, turn into the direction of the skid without slamming on the brakes.
4. Have an emergency kit in your car
Emergency preparedness is very important. Every year I hear about someone freezing to death because their car got stuck, and they couldn't keep warm. There are many things that are important to have in your emergency kit. In the winter keep a very warm blanket in your car. Some hand and foot warmers would help keep you warm also.
The Esurrance blog had a list of the top 11 must haves for your winter kit.
---Cat litter. If you get stuck, it can create the traction you need to get unstuck.
---Basic tool kit including pliers, screwdriver, adjustable wrench, pocket knife, duct tape, rope.
---Flashlight (and extra batteries)
---Food and water
---First aid kit
---AM/FM radio. (Battery-powered)
---A good book - in case you are stuck there for a long while.
I hope these tips were helpful to ensure your safe winter driving. Remember that winter is already half over, and soon it will be warm again.
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