We shouldn’t need reminders that winter is coming. But when temperatures exceed 60 degrees a couple of days before Christmas, the season is easier to forget.
But winter – and the delights of traversing outside during same – is most certainly coming.
However bare the road appears, lower temperatures make conditions potentially hazardous. You may never drive on black ice. But you certainly will remember if you do.
Travel is fine in the winter. But keep some safety factors in mind.
- Always wear a seat belt.
- Slow down. Slower speeds, slower acceleration, slower steering and slower braking all are required in winter driving conditions.
- Put down the handheld devices. It’s against the law always everywhere, and it defies common sense everywhere. Be sure to have it handy, though. You will need it in case of emergency.
- Leave plows plenty of room. A snowplow operator’s field of vision is restricted. You may see them, but they may not see you. They can kick up blinding flurries if you’re following too closely.
- Avoid using cruise control in snow and ice. Again, this may never happen to you, but if it has, you remember, and you keep your cruise control off.
- Black ice on roads that appear clear can be treacherous.
- Use care when approaching intersections, ramps, bridges and shady areas. All are prone to icing. Ramps can be particularly troublesome, particularly if others have already tried, failed and are somewhere on the ramp unable to move.
- Do not travel during bad weather unless absolutely necessary. If you do have to make a trip, be sure someone is aware of your travel route
- Prepare an emergency kit. It should include jumper cables, flares or reflectors, windshield washer fluid, a small ice scraper, traction material, blankets, water, non-perishable food and a first-aid kit.
Drive safely. There are people who will truly miss you if you’re not around.
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