Driving safely when the weather turns foul takes concentration and planning. These tips from the American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP) will help.
- Always wear your seat belt.
- Make sure your windshield and mirrors are clear of frost, snow and ice and the driver's seat is positioned properly
- Plan ahead. Leave earlier than usual to allow extra time to reach your destination
- Keep a "winter emergency kit" in your car. It should include a flashlight, flares, jumper cables, snacks, extra gloves, hat, blanket, sand, a small shovel and boots. A warm sleeping bag is also a good idea.
- Carefully assess road and driving conditions when driving on unfamiliar roads. Be especially cautious on bridges and ramps.
- Drive at speeds appropriate for road conditions. Use "defensive" driving attitude and actions.
- Keep your distance from other autos and obstacles.
- In a skid situation, if your car is equipped with an Anti-Lock Brake System (ABS) remember to maintain continuous pressure on your brakes. If your car does not have ABS, and you feel your car starting to skid, pump your brakes lightly. Turn your car to follow the direction of the skid to help maintain control.
Remember, if the road and weather conditions are truly hazardous, reschedule your travel.