Be Prepared for Winter Weather

Winter weather has arrived. Are you ready to face out-of-the-ordinary challenges when behind the wheel? Snow, slush, or icy roads are involved in nearly one in four weather-related vehicle crashes. These conditions can make it harder for any driver to see, slow down and come to a complete stop. If you plan on traveling during the upcoming holiday season, make sure you are prepared for anything Mother Nature throws at you. Here are a few things you can do to ensure you are as prepared as possible:

Prep your vehicle for any situation.
Does your vehicle have a winter driving survival kit? Your driving survival kit should include the essentials like an ice scraper, snow shovel, blanket and sand. These simple items will have you prepared for anything winter delivers. This is also the perfect time to check the health of your tires, windshield wipers and your windshield fluid to clear snow and ice from your line of vision. Keeping your gas tank full in extended cold weather can help minimize the amount of water vapor in your tank, which can freeze when temperatures drop.

Watch the weather.
Traveling during the winter typically means there is a chance of inclement weather. Monitor road and weather conditions by checking Nebraska 511. Remember to check conditions prior to driving. You should never check your phone while driving. Avoid all unnecessary distractions when you’re behind the wheel.

Drive for winter conditions.
If your area has already had snow and ice make sure to take the time to clear it off of your car, including your windows, mirrors, lights, reflectors, hood, roof and trunk. It is also always a good practice to drive with your headlights on and be sure to keep them clean to improve visibility. If you have to drive while inclement weather is present, it’s important to consider the road conditions, and remember that speed limits are meant for dry roads, not roads that are snow and ice-covered. Reduce your speed and increase the distance between the car in front of you as road conditions and visibility worsen. Avoid passing snow plows and sand trucks because the drivers may have limited visibility and the road in front of them could be worse than the road behind.

Broken down, stranded or stuck…
If you are unexpectedly stranded or get stuck in the snow, try and make sure your car is safely out of harm’s way. Stay in your car and wait for help. Once you are sure you car is out of harm’s way, get out to clear the exhaust pipe of snow and then you can run the car heater to stay warm for 10 minutes every hour. There is a chance of carbon monoxide poisoning if snow blocks the pipe, enabling deadly gas to build up in your car. Open your window slightly to help prevent any buildup.

Remember, driving in winter can be challenging for any driver. Remember to slow down, allow extra time to come to a stop, wear your seatbelt, and be aware of the ever-changing weather conditions. If you’re unsure whether it is safe to drive, consider waiting until the roads improve.

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