• Winter Driving - Preparations include tires, emergency kit, common sense

    The Weather is Fickle... Now more than ever, you hear "This is the coldest winter I can remember." NASA recorded the coldest temperatures in Earth's History recently.

    Some of you might be thinking “Big deal!” And yes, many of our readers have been dealing with the cold for a long time (especially you Midwesterners & Noreasterners) long enough that this won’t be your first rodeo with the snow and ice and everything that comes with this time of year. On the other hand, with the Dakotas being hit with unprecedented snow fall, freak snow in the Middle East, recent snow in places like San Diego (really!) and Southern Texas (yep!) some winter and snow driving considerations are in order for everybody this year.

    If you’re among those unfortunate souls who park their cars outside nightly, you might be disheartened if you look out your window. If you are in a garage, you might be digging out.

    It is important to review a few safety tips before heading out into that marvelous white winter wonderland.

    The following come from the Indiana Department of Homeland Security.

    Be prepared

    While some of this might be harder with snow falling, each is doable.

    • Check tire pressure and tread depth.
    • Check the battery, exhaust system, heater and defroster. Make sure the terminals are tight and free of corrosion. Check hoses and belts for cracks.
    • Check your antifreeze. If it’s 2 years old, get it flushed and refilled.
    • Change your oil every 3,000 to 5,000 miles.
    • Check your windshield wipers, blades and wiper fluid.
    • Keep your gas tank at least half full.

    Emergency Kit

    After a recent ice storm, some Texans spent hours trying to dig their vehicles out with a compact disc case, a plastic red cup, the end of a broom handle and a wooden kitchen spoon. It is important o be weather-ready even in areas not accustomed to snow and ice (Heck, we've had snow and ice in San Diego of all places recently!)

    Besides an ice scraper, here’s what should be in your vehicle emergency kit:

    If locks freeze, heat the key.

    Photo of Winter vehicle Emergency Pack Winter Emergency Preparedness Kit - Value Pack

    Other ideas:

    Safe driving

    There are precautions you should take before leaving home and precautions to take on the road. Here are some.

    • Check driving conditions and weather reports.
    • Remove snow from the vehicle’s windows, lights, brake lights and signals.
    • Let someone know your destination, route and expected time of travel.
    • Drive below the speed limit, be cautious of black ice and leave plenty of space between you and the vehicles ahead of you.
    • Brake early and slowly.
    • Do not use cruise control on ice or snow.

    If stranded

    You’ve slid off the road, or you’ve been in an accident, or your beloved vehicle has become stuck or is no longer working. Here are some precautions to keep you safe until rescuers arrive.

    • Stay in your vehicle.
    • Run the engine for 10 minutes every hour to stay warm.
    • No cellphone? Tie a brightly colored cloth to the antenna for rescuers to see.
    • Light a flare or turn on a flashlight.
    • Keep the overhead light on when the engine is running. Keep windows cracked.
    • Keep the exhaust pipe free of blockage to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning.
    • Use floor mats or seat covers for added warmth if you forgot to pack blankets. If you must leave your vehicle, secure a rope to yourself and the vehicle to avoid becoming lost or disoriented.

    Other Winter related articles:   Brrr… Winter Safety and Warmth & Winter Weather

    Emergency Window Punch & Seat Belt Cutter

  • Backing up & Driving Tips

    • Auto First Aid & AAA Road Emergency Kits Auto First Aid &
      AAA Road Emergency Kits

      Check area around vehicle. Check behind and under tires for hazards.

    • Check tires for appropriate tread, air pressure and damage.
    • Check and adjust all mirrors. Make sure they are clean.
    • Make sure windshields are clean inside and out.
    • Check and adjust seat to enable driver to reach gas/brake easily.
    • Check horn and back up beeper if applicable.
    • Turn off interior noisemakers, i.e. radio, fan, A/C for initial departure.
    • Roll window down slightly to enable driver to hear exterior activity.
    • Check for position of spotter and follow hand signals accordingly. Spotter is there to help, but you are still responsible for following safety rules.
    • If vehicle has automatic transmission, keep one foot over the brake for quicker response time, especially when in reverse.
    • Scan outside area by turning and looking over both shoulders for any obstructions, vehicles, pedestrians, etc…
    • Continue to look in direction vehicle is moving to check for obstacles.
    • Check front end periodically for vehicle placement when in reverse.
    • Park or pull in where you can exit without having to reverse the vehicle.
    • Drive slower in poor weather or poor road conditions.

    driving-safety-tileTake caution when behind the wheel. Our safety booklets, CD-ROMs, DVD programs, and meeting & compliance kits will provide you and your employees with all the information you need regarding driving safety. Following OSHA standards, you can rest assured that you are compliant within your industry. There is even a game available to keep your trainings fun and innovative.

  • Avoid Driving Disasters

    Whether it is a weekend getaway or cross-country road trip, travel plans will involve taking to the roads this summer. Be prepared for hazardous weather that can interrupt your plans and cause dangerous driving conditions.

    the road to storm ( photo compilation. The grain and texture added. ) the road to storm ( photo compilation. The grain and texture added. )

    Get tips on how to react to bad weather on the road in the latest CDC Public Health Matters blog: Avoid Driving Disasters 

  • Driving in the Rain

    This is an interesting tip for driving in the rain – and may save your life


    Guy in a poncho Ponchos, Rain Gear & Outer Wear

    How to achieve good vision while driving during a heavy downpour also useful driving at night.

    Most motorists would turn on HIGH or FASTEST SPEED of the wipers during heavy downpour – yet the visibility in front of the windshield is bad.

    In the event you face such a situation, just try your SUN GLASSES (any model will do), and miracle!  All of a sudden your visibility in front of your windshield is perfectly clear, as if there is no rain.

    Make sure you always have a pair of SUN GLASSES in your car as you are not only helping yourself to drive safely with good vision, but you also might save your friend’s life by giving them his idea.

    Try it yourself and share it with your friends.


    Amazing, you still see the drops on the windshield, but not the sheet of rain falling.

    You can see where the rain bounces off the road.  It works to eliminate the “blindness” from passing semi’s spraying you too.

    Or the “kickup” if you are following a semi or car in the rain.

    They ought to teach this little tip in driver’s training.  It really does work.


    Also tip from the Highway Patrol –



    Image of a Roadside Emergency Kit Do you have a Roadside Emergency Kit on your Vehicle?

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