January 2019 – Winter Driving Survival Guide

Severe weather can be daunting for automobile travel. Consider the following information to ensure your safety and that of your fellow humans: 

WINTER DRIVING TIPS

  • Avoid driving while you’re fatigued. Getting the proper amount of rest before taking on winter weather tasks reduces driving risks.
  • Never warm up a vehicle in an enclosed area, such as a garage.
  • Make certain your tires are properly inflated.
  • Never mix radial tires with other tire types.
  • Keep your gas tank at least half full to avoid gas line freeze-up.
  • If possible, avoid using your parking brake in cold, rainy and snowy weather.
  • Do not use cruise control when driving on any slippery surface (wet, ice, sand).
  • If the car is sliding on ice, turn your front wheels in the same direction that the rear of the vehicle is sliding. For example, if the back of your car slides to the right, turn the wheel to the right.
  • Use your seat belt every time you get into your vehicle.
  • Watch weather reports prior to a long-distance drive or before driving in isolated areas. Delay trips when especially bad weather is expected. If you must leave, let others know your route, destination and estimated time of arrival.
  • Always make sure your vehicle is in peak operating condition.
  • Pack a cellular telephone, plus blankets, gloves, hats, food, water and any needed medication in your vehicle.

TIPS FOR DRIVING IN THE SNOW

  • Accelerate and decelerate slowly. Applying the gas slowly to accelerate is the best method for regaining traction and avoiding skids. Don’t try to get moving in a hurry. And take time to slow down for a stoplight. Remember, it takes longer to slow down on icy roads.
  • Drive slowly. Everything takes longer on snow-covered roads. Accelerating, stopping, turning – nothing happens as quickly as on dry pavement. Give yourself time to maneuver by driving slowly.
  • The normal dry pavement following distance of three to four seconds should be increased to eight to ten seconds. This increased margin of safety will provide the longer distance needed if you must stop.
  • Know your brakes. Whether you have antilock brakes or not, the best way to stop is threshold breaking. Keep the heel of your foot on the floor and use the ball of your foot to apply firm, steady pressure on the brake pedal.
  • Don’t stop if you can avoid it. There’s a big difference in the amount of inertia it takes to start moving from a full stop versus how much it takes to get moving while still rolling.
  • Don’t power up hills. Applying extra gas on snow-covered roads just starts your wheels spinning. Try to get a little inertia going before you reach the hill and let that inertia carry you to the top. As you reach the crest of the hill, reduce your speed and proceed downhill as slowly as possible.
  • Don’t stop going up a hill. There’s nothing worse than trying to get moving up a hill on an icy road. Get some inertia going on a flat roadway before you take on the hill.

IF YOU SHOULD BECOME SNOW-BOUND

  • Stay with your vehicle. It provides temporary shelter and makes it easier for rescuers to locate you. Don’t try to walk in a severe storm; it’s easy to lose sight of your vehicle in blowing snow and become lost.
  • Avoid overexerting yourself if you try to push or dig your vehicle out of the snow.
  • Tie a brightly colored cloth to the antenna or place a cloth at the top of a rolled-up window to signal distress. At night, keep the dome light on if possible. It only uses a small amount of electricity and will make it easier for rescuers to find you.
  • Make sure the exhaust pipe isn’t clogged with snow, ice or mud. A blocked exhaust could cause deadly carbon monoxide gas to leak into the passenger compartment with the engine running.
  • Use whatever is available to insulate your body from the cold. This could include floor mats, newspapers or paper maps.
  • If possible, run the engine and heater just long enough to remove the chill and to conserve gasoline.

For further information about driving in the wintry elements, please click here to view a video provided by AAA.

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December 2018 – Dangers of Driving on Wet Leaves

wet leaves

Fall is a fun time of year for a lot of reasons… Holidays, the return of football season, and stunning fall foliage – which can also can also make driving a bit more difficult too.  Before you hit the road during this time of year, here are a few ways you can make your trip a safe one and hopefully avoid an accident. Continue reading “December 2018 – Dangers of Driving on Wet Leaves”

November 2018 – Adjusting to the Time Change

driving-sunset-sunrise

November 2018 – Adjusting to the Time Change

Daylight Saving Time ends at 2:00 AM on Sunday, Nov. 4, so now is a good time to remind fleet drivers to take extra precautions to adjust to the change.

The end of Daylight Saving Time generally means traveling in dusk and dark conditions more often, when visibility is a greater challenge.  Additionally, driving after dark more has the potential to raise the risk for drowsy driving. Continue reading “November 2018 – Adjusting to the Time Change”

September 2018 – Back to School Traffic Safety

b2school

School days bring traffic congestion –  School bus drivers are picking up passengers, kids on bikes are hurrying to get to school before the bell rings, rushed parents are trying to drop off their children before work.  Especially at this time of year, it is so important for drivers to slow down and pay attention when students are present. Continue reading “September 2018 – Back to School Traffic Safety”

August 2018 – Proper Following Distance

following distance

 

It is very important to maintaining a safe driving space around the front, side, and rear of your vehicle so it will be less vulnerable to collisions; This is something that drivers can control.

While many of us have been taught to focus on space — keeping several car lengths between one’s vehicle and the car ahead — a better formula concerns time. Continue reading “August 2018 – Proper Following Distance”

July 2018 – Setting Mirrors to Eliminate Blind Zones

blindsposts

When you’re behind the wheel, what you see – and what you don’t – can mean the difference between a safe ride or a sudden collision.  That’s why properly setting your mirrors to minimize blind spots is critically important.

However, it’s not unusual to fall into the habit of incorrectly positioning mirrors. For example, many drivers will position their mirrors to show a large expanse of the side of their own car.  This limits the field of view of the side mirrors. Continue reading “July 2018 – Setting Mirrors to Eliminate Blind Zones”