Monthly Safety Preparedness Tip: Winter Auto Safety
Winters in Southeast Tennessee are often unpredictable, and having items in your car for any scenario is a good way to ensure your safety on the road. Whether you find yourself stranded in your car in a snow storm, or your car won't start in freezing temperatures, being well prepared will make the difference between panic and peace of mind.
Regardless of the severity of a winter storm, you should be prepared in order to remain safe during these events. Here are some safety tips you may want to consider for your automobile and while getting out on the roads this winter.
Before Leaving Home:
• Fill the vehicle’s gas tank and clean the lights and windows to help see.
• Before leaving, let someone know where you are going, the route you plan to take, and when you expect to get there. If your car gets stuck, help can be sent along your predetermined route.
• Make sure your phone is charged. A great preparedness item is to have a portable charger.
• Keep a set of warm blankets or the very effective NASA survival blankets in your car in case you have to stay there for a period of time.
• It is always a good idea to keep flashlights and fresh batteries in you automobile.
• Other safety equipment such as road flares can easily signal distress
• Pack necessities such as snacks and bottled water.
• Consider roadside assistance service. Most auto insurance companies offer this service as a part of your premium coverage.
• Make sure everyone has their seat belts on and give your full attention to the road. Avoid distractions such as cell phones.
• Don’t follow other vehicles too closely. Sudden stops are difficult on snowy roadways.
• Don’t use cruise control when driving in winter weather.
• Don’t pass snow plows.
• Know that ramps, bridges and overpasses will freeze before roadways.
• Don’t run the engine and heater constantly to help avoid running out of gas. Don’t use things like lights or the radio without the engine running so the battery doesn’t die.
• If you can, move your vehicle off the roadway. Stay with it – don’t abandon it. If you have to get out of your vehicle, use the side away from traffic.