By Martin Supply •
The Three P’s of Safe Winter Driving
Winter driving can be hazardous and scary, regardless of where you live or how experienced you are driving in these conditions. Additional preparations can help make a trip safer, or help motorists deal with an emergency. Whether you’re driving on the job or driving during non-work hours, following these guidelines will keep your better prepared should you encounter winter driving conditions.
Remember the three P’s of Safe Winter Driving:
- Be sure to maintain the reliability of your vehicle. Check the battery, tire tread and windshield wipers, keep windows clear, put no-freeze fluid in the washer reservoir, and check your antifreeze.
- Keep a winter preparedness bag or bin in your vehicle that includes: a flashlight, jumper cables, abrasive material (sand, kitty litter, or even floor mats), a shovel, snow brush and ice scraper, warning devices (like flares) and blankets.
- For long trips, add food and water, medication, a cell phone and cell phone charger.
- Plan your route. Allow plenty of time (check the weather and leave early if necessary), be familiar with maps/directions, and let others know your route and arrival time.
- Practice cold weather driving by rehearsing maneuvers slowly on ice or snow in an empty parking lot. Remember to:
-Steer into a skid
-Stomp 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 the windows up or in an enclosed space.
- Buckle up and use child safety seats properly. Make sure all passengers are buckled up too.
- Never place a rear-facing infant seat in front of an airbag.
- Children 12 and under are much safer in the back seat.
- Drugs and alcohol never mix with driving.
- Slow down and increase distances 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.