Well it finally snowed in Billings, Montana…winter is officially here! You can imagine my surprise when I woke up and saw the fresh white powder outside my window (you might have felt the same surprise). On the way to the office this morning, cars were sliding ALL over the road and OFF the road, which was the inspiration for this article, Stay Safe on the Roads this Winter Season!
Although the snow is beautiful and there are a lot of fun activities while it is snowy outside, it is important to understand how to drive and stay safe in the snow.
Here are a few tips on how to do this!
For the car:
- Make sure your car is in good working condition. Check your battery, your tire tread, and the windshield wipers. Also, it is important to check your antifreeze and to put no-freeze fluid in your washer reservoir.
- When you start your car let it run for a few minutes before driving it to make sure the engine is warmed up. Additionally, do not start your engine in an enclosed area. If you are in the garage, open the garage door.
- Make sure you have a winter safety kit in your car.
- Food that will not go bad, like energy bars
- Extra clothes
- Flashlight and a candle just in case the flashlight doesn’t work
- First Aid Kit
- Tow rope
- Jumper cables
- Antifreeze and windshield washer fluid
- Make sure your gas tank is always at half full or more.
- Watch, listen to or look online for the local weather report before driving.
- Drive SLOWLY. Everything takes more time to travel to or from in snowy weather, plan your time accordingly so you can drive safe.
- Instead of following the car in front of you at a three to four second distance, make sure you increase that to a eight to ten second distance.
- If you are sliding, do not slam on your brakes; pump your breaks slowly keeping the heel of your foot on the ground and the ball of your foot on the brake so you can have a controlled stop. If you slam on your brakes, you will probably fishtail or worse, turn your car completely around or run into the car ahead of you. If this does not work and there is room on the side of the road with fresh powder, start easing your car to the side. The fresh powder will help your car stop.
- If you are sliding when turning, make sure you keep sliding in the direction you want to go. Do not over correct when you get nervous, this could cause the car to flip.
- Start stopping way sooner than normal!!!! Even if it feels too soon, it probably isn’t. It is better to stay safe than get hurt.
- Know your brakes and how they work. If you have a good idea of what your brakes are like; whether they are an antilock brake, they stop quickly or they take a little more time to come to a complete stop…this will help you know how to work them in the snow and ice.
- And last but not least, if you can, STAY HOME.
We hope you found this article helpful and remember, if you have any questions about renting a home, let us know. We might have the perfect place for you!
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