Stock your vehicle.
Carry items in your vehicle to handle common winter driving tasks, such as cleaning off your windshield, as well as any supplies you might need in an emergency. Keep the following on hand:
- Snow shovel, broom, and ice scraper;
- Abrasive material such as sand or kitty litter, in case your vehicle gets stuck in the snow;
- Jumper cables, flashlight, and warning devices such as flares and markers;
- Blankets for protection from the cold;
- And a cell phone with charger, water, food, and any necessary medicine (for longer trips or when driving in lightly populated areas).
Learn what to do in a winter emergency.
If you are stopped or stalled in wintry weather, follow these safety rules:
- Stay with your car and don’t overexert yourself
- Put bright markers on the antenna or windows and keep the interior dome light turned on;
- To avoid asphyxiation from carbon monoxide poisoning, don’t run your car for long periods of time with the windows up or in an enclosed space. If you must run your vehicle, clear the exhaust pipe of any snow and run it only sporadically — just long enough to stay warm.
Protect yourself and your loved ones.
- Remember to always wear your seat belt. Ensure that everyone in your vehicle is buckled up as well.
- Do not text or engage in any other activities that may distract you while driving.
- While thick outerwear will keep your children warm, it can also interfere with the proper harness fit of your child in their car seat. Place blankets around your child after the harness is snug and secure.
- Never leave your child unattended in or around your vehicle.
The above is an excerpt from the article, “Checklist and Tips for Safe Winter Driving.” For more information, please visit www.safercar.gov.