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Travel Safety: Stay Safe When Driving in Winter Conditions

Safe Driving Reminders for Wintery Road Conditions

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Stay safe this winter holiday season by planning ahead and making good choices while traveling. When preparing to travel, be aware of current and forecasted weather conditions. Get your car ready for cold weather before winter arrives and ensure it is well-equipped for the road conditions.

Infographic, Winterize your Vehicle

Remember the three P's of Safe Winter Driving:

  • PREPARE for the trip
  • PROTECT yourself
  • PREVENT crashes
Infographic, Winter Tire Tips

WINTER DRIVING SAFETY TIPS

  • Speed limits are based on normal road conditions so reduce your speed when there is ice or snow.
  • Stay at least 200 feet back if you are behind a snow plow.
  • Bridges, ramps and overpasses freeze first, so use extreme caution.
  • Know how to safely maneuver a vehicle if skidding on ice occurs.
  • Maintain at least three times the normal following distance when driving on snow and ice.
  • Be aware of 'black ice' which is a nearly invisible layer of ice that can develop on roads and cause a driver to rapidly lose control. Black ice is especially common at night.

Keep a safety kit in every car with supplies you might need in the event of an unexpected roadside emergency. Ideas for winter include:

  • Snacks and bottled water, medication if needed
  • First aid kit and plastic bags (for sanitation)
  • Blankets, or other items to keep warm
  • Cat litter or sand for icy areas
  • Booster cables, tow chain or rope, and flares
  • Spare tire and tire jack
  • Flashlights, battery powered radio, batteries
  • Windshield scraper and brush

If you do become stranded in a winter storm, don't panic and stay with your car unless safety or help is less than 100 yards away. Follow these tips until help arrives.

  • Continue to move arms and legs.
  • Stay visible by putting a bright cloth on the antenna, turning on the inside light when the engine is on and raising the hood when the snow isn't falling.
  • Run the engine and heater only 10 mins every hour.
  • Keep a downwind window open.
  • Make sure the tailpipe is not blocked.
Infographic, Traveling with Kids and Pets

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