Vision is vital when Old Man Winter sets in
See and be seen. Motorists know that when Old Man Winter turns nasty, they not only have to worry about themselves; they also have to be concerned about the other drivers on the road.
Vision is vital when it comes to navigating icy, snow-covered routes.
Before you venture out, remove all snow from your vehicle’s hood, roof, windows and lights. Clear all windows. If visibility becomes poor, find a place to safely pull off the road as soon as you can. It’s best to stop at a rest area or exit the roadway and take shelter in a building. If you can’t exit, pull off the road as far as you can. Get out from the passenger side, to reduce the risk of being hit by other drivers. If visibility is poor, put on your emergency flashers. Stay on main roads and drive carefully. Match your speed to the road and weather conditions. Avoid passing another vehicle when weather and road conditions are bad.
Wear warm clothes that do not restrict movement. Be prepared to make a call. Take a fully charged cell phone with you. These are very useful in an emergency or if you need help. *911 is often a free call. But don’t talk and drive. Let someone with you make the call, or pull over to a safe spot to place a call.
If you do a lot of winter driving in areas with poor reception, think about getting a citizen’s band radio.
Pack a winter survival kit. The Canadian Automobile Association (CAA) recommends you keep the following items in your trunk: – shovel – sand or kitty litter – traction mats – tow chain – compass – cloth or roll of paper towels – warning light or road flares – extra clothing and footwear – emergency food pack – booster cables – matches and a “survival” candle in a deep can (to warm hands,
heat a drink or use as an emergency light) – fire extinguisher – extra windshield washer fluid – fuel line antifreeze – reflective vest
Keep the following items inside your vehicle: – road maps – ice scraper and brush – flashlight – first aid kit – blanket (special “survival” blankets are best)
The danger of skidding is greatest when you are taken by surprise. Not all vehicles respond in the same way to icy roads; learn how to handle your vehicle in all types of weather. You may also consider taking a winter driving course. In extreme weather avoid using overdrive or cruise control.