When temperatures drop it is important that you are prepared. The same can be said for dealing with a snowstorm, as the more snow there is on the ground, the more dangerous your daily commute becomes. Luckily, you can follow a few tips in the winter that will help keep you and your family safe.
Purchase Winter Tires
If you live in an area that has multiple major snowfalls annually, winter tires are a must. Winter tires are built with softer rubber than traditional tires, which provides better traction in the snow and ice. Adding snow tires allows you to handle your car better and stop more rapidly on snow and ice. Taking this step could easily prevent a major accident. Although these tires will cost you some money, the added safety that they provide is well worth it.
Give Yourself Time
When traveling in the snow and ice, always make sure that you give yourself extra time. If your daily commute normally takes 20 minutes, give yourself 30 so that you do not have to rush. Keep in mind that the posted speed limits are for ideal driving conditions. As a result, you should slow down in the snow to give yourself enough time to stop.
Make Sure That You Can See
Snow can limit your vision while driving; you should always do what you can to maximize your vision. Clear your windshield, windows and mirrors before you depart from your driveway. You should also clean your lights regularly because slush and sand from the roads will stick to them, making it difficult to see in the dark.
Learn How to Drive in Snow
Inexperienced snow drivers quickly become the most dangerous people on the road. Make sure that you give other vehicles on the road at least three times more distance than you normally would to help prevent collisions. If you do not have anti-lock brakes, you should also learn to pump your brakes when you go into a skid, as this can slow the skid down and help you regain control of your vehicle.
Watch for Plows and Sanders
When driving in the winter, you should always be on alert for snowplows and sanders because you are sure to come across a few. They travel at a lower speed than most traffic, so always go around corners slowly. You also might want to avoid passing these vehicles, since they can blow sand and snow onto your car.
Even after exiting your vehicle, make sure that you are cautious. When the soles of your shoes get warm, they may become slippery because they can turn the snow that you step on into water. Take small steps and keep your hands out of your pockets to prevent a nasty fall.
Invest in Supplies
Before the snow hits, make sure that you have enough food to get you through a few days. You should also load up on basic necessities like toilet paper and diapers. If you are stuck inside for a few days, you will be glad that you took the time to make these purchases. Since you will be pumping your furnace non-stop, investing in a gas detection device like the MultiRAE Lite, which will give you advanced warning if something is to malfunction.
Load Up On Entertainment
If the cables lines go down, you will need something to do for the next couple of days. Therefore, always have enough DVDs and CDs on hand to keep yourself occupied. If the power goes out, having a portable DVD player will do the trick and will ensure that you do not get overly bored. Keep in mind that if the roads are terrible, you will not want to go out during the snowstorm to get these products, so it is a good idea to be prepared.
Know Where to Get Information
Storms can sometimes turn into emergency situations. In these scenarios, you should know where to get the necessary information. There is a good chance that your local radio stations will carry these broadcasts. In some cases, the storm could get so bad that it knocks out your home’s heat. Therefore, you should know where emergency shelters are located, just in case you find yourself in trouble in the middle of the night.
Just because you have not received numerous warnings regarding a snow or ice storm does not mean that one is not on the way. Weather patterns can change very quickly, and if you are not prepared ahead of time, you could find yourself without enough time to prepare. It does not take much time to have a basic plan and a few extra supplies in the house, but it could prevent countless problems in the future.