Car Travel: 15 Winter Trip Safety Tips

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  1. Check with a qualified car mechanic to make sure your care has been winternized. This would include basics such as checking the batteries to make sure they are fully charged and the terminals are clean. the antifreeze levels,  the strength of the windshields and winter formulated washer fluid.
  2. Do not travel if tired/sleepy-This can cause poor reflexes and poor concentration.
  3. Pack a winter safety kit for your car. some basic items to include are blankets, cell phone, extra set of clothes for each person going on the trip, first aid kit, flashlights, ice scraper, matches, flares for the road, non-perishable food (crackers, granola bars with fruits and nuts, juice, tuna, water), portable radio, road salt, small broom for gentle snow removal, spare tires, and tire chains.
  4. Have a full tank of gas at all times.
  5. Inform your family/close friends of travel arrangements including the travel route, destination, and estimated travel times.
  6. Keep the radio turned low since you need to hear your surrounding area such as emergency vehicles.
  7. Maintain visibility by keeping your headlights and taillights clean .
  8. Remain on the primary/main road. Side roads may blocks/heavy snow. 
  9. Snowplows need extra room. This equipment is heavy and the operator needs space to maintain proper control and the operator’s field of vision may be restricted.  If you find yourself behind one allow space.
  10. Stay within the speed limit and change the limit based on weather guidelines. For example, if the speed limit is 65 miles per hour, it may be reduced to 35 miles per hour.
  11. Strandings can happen so stay in your care, tie a bright cloth around the car antenna, cell for help if you have a signal, make sure everyone is well-covered to keep warm. 
  12. Study a map to make adjustments for possible road blocks/alternate travel.
  13. Travel with a partner and try to take turns driving to minimize fatigue.
  14. Travel primarily in the daylight since roads can be trickier during the nighttime.
  15. Watch for signs for medical problems such as dizziness, breathing problems, and headaches if you are stranded and have to keep turning on and off the care-These signs can be carbon monoxide poisoning.
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