Winter storms, bad weather and sloppy road conditions can be both frightening and dangerous for travelers.
The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety recommends the following tips for driving in snowy and icy conditions:
— Keep a bundle of cold-weather gear in your car such as extra food and water, warm clothing, a flashlight, tire chains, a glass scraper, blankets and medications.
— Make certain your tires are properly inflated and have plenty of tread.
— Do not use cruise control when driving on any slippery surface, such as on ice and snow.
— Always adjust your speed down to account for lower traction when driving on snow or ice.
— Increase your following distance to five to six seconds. This increased margin of safety will provide the longer distance needed if you have to stop.
— Don*t stop going up a hill. There is nothing worse than trying to get moving up a hill on an icy road. Get some inertia going on a flat roadway before you take on the hill.
— Check the weather along your route and when possible, delay your trip if bad weather is expected.
— Before hitting the road, notify others and let them know your route, destination and estimated time of arrival.
— If you get stuck in the snow, stay with your vehicle, which provides temporary shelter and makes it easier for rescuers to locate you.
— Do not try to walk in a severe storm. It is easy to lose sight of your vehicle in blowing snow and become lost.
— Be visible: Tie a brightly colored cloth to the antenna of your vehicle or place a cloth at the top of a rolled up window to signal distress.
— Make sure the exhaust pipe is not clogged with snow, ice or mud. A blocked exhaust pipe can cause deadly carbon monoxide gas to leak into the passenger compartment of the vehicle while the engine is running.
— Stay warm. Use whatever is available to insulate your body from the cold including floor mats, newspapers or paper maps.
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