Many deaths occur each winter due to driving accidents. Here are some safety tips for safer driving.
If You Must Drive:
- Let someone know when you expect to arrive and what route you plan to take. If your car gets stuck along the way, they can send out help along your predetermined route.
- Keep your gas tank full for emergency use and to prevent the fuel line from freezing.
- A small bag of sand or non-clumping cat litter can be used for extra traction if you get stuck. Use the non-clumping cat litter, since the clumping kind turns into slick clay when wet.
- Tire chains are helpful. However, since the use of chains is not permitted in all states, you should check the local regulations before using them. Your local auto club, the state police, or the state department of transportation should have that information.
When You Are Driving in Icy Conditions:
- Slow down!
- If you don't have anti-lock brakes, pump, don't slam on your brakes.
- Break only when your car is in a straight position before a curve. Release the break before you steer into a curve. Accelerate only after you decrease the steering angle to exit the curve.
If You Get Stuck While Driving:
- Stay with your car. Do not try to walk to safety.
- Tie a brightly colored cloth to the antenna and raise it high for rescuers to see.
- Start the car and use the heater sparingly, for about 10 minutes every hour. Keep the exhaust pipe clear so fumes won't back up into the car.
- Leave the overhead light on when the engine is running so that you can be seen.
- As you sit, keep moving your arms and legs to keep blood circulating and to stay warm.
- Keep one window slightly open to let air in. Open the window away from the blowing wind.