Winter weather Care for your car
Winter weather (bitter cold temperatures, snow and ice) is almost here and drivers need to remember to take extra care. Every year it seems that there are more accidents during the first couple of snowstorms as drivers tend to forget how to drive on snow and ice. An earlier post, , discussed how you should know your vehicle functions and features, having your vehicle in good working condition and by preparing a safety kit. This post offers tips and suggestions for driving in winter weather, snow and ice.
BEFORE YOU START YOUR TRIP
It is important to be prepared before driving on snow and ice. Assuming you have already followed the tips from our other post there are other steps you should take shortly before going out:
Clear off the vehicle: Make sure you clear and remove all snow and ice that would obscure the driver’s vision. On windy days, snow from the hood or roof can blow onto the windshield, and either temporarily block the driver’s view, or if the temperature is cold enough, could freeze on the windshield. In addition, at night or on vehicles with daylight running lights, make sure to clear and clean your headlights. This helps both the driver and other vehicles.
Check the road conditions: You should check the road conditions before leaving, especially if driving outside of a city. Make sure the roads are open and whether they have been plowed, salted or sanded. For travel in Nebraska, the Nebraska Department of Roads has a specific section on their website, General Travel Information and Links (viewable here) that provides road condition information. For the most current Nebraska information, you can call 511 or 800-906-9069. Other states have similar websites and information and many also use 511.
Check the weather conditions: You should check the weather conditions, both for the time you are leaving but what they are expected to be throughout your trip. Besides just checking on snow or precipitation you should also be aware of the temperature. If there is ice on the road, the colder it is the longer it will take to stop.
Clothing: Make sure you are dressed appropriately for the weather. You never know if you are going to get stuck or stranded.
Decide: You need to decide how necessary the trip is especially when it is currently snowing or if there is a lot of snow or ice that has not been plowed. If the trip is not that important, you should postpone until it is safer.
Driver Readiness: The driver needs to be ready to drive as driving on snow and ice is much more difficult and requires more concentration than driving on dry pavement. The driver should be fully awake, alert and not under the influence of alcohol or other substances that affect his or her ability to drive.
Time: Make sure you allow plenty of time to get where you are going. Remember that it takes more time to get from Point A to Point B in winter driving conditions. Do not rush to get someplace when the roads are slick. It is better to be late than drive faster and increase your risk of getting into an accident.
DRIVING ON SNOW AND ICE
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