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Winter Driving Tips

December 21st, 2012 Posted in Lifestyle

Winter is a great time of the year no matter where you live in this wonderful country.  Winter driving can present some challenges especially if you live in Southern California and are going to venture off to the mountains for a ski weekend or just a getaway into the Sierra Nevada’s.

As you enter the mountain region, and your altitude changes, you will likely see a beautiful coating of snow and everything is gorgeous.  This is when you have to mentally shift your thinking to driving in winter conditions.

There are certain cautions that we see as a reminder such as signs saying “the bridge deck will freeze before the road”.  That makes sense – we can understand that.  But your preparation needs to actually begin before you get in the car and start your trip.

Since we know that getting stranded is no fun, we have to prepare properly because it really can be a matter of life and death.

Driving Safety – this is common sense but always a good reminder

  • Plan two routes to your destination
  • As road conditions change, adjust your speed  as needed (not faster)
  • When the road is wet, icy or snow covered, NEVER use your cruise control
  • Always buckle up
  • Make sure you have an Emergency Kit in the car that includes car cell phone charger, flares, tire chains, radio, extra batteries, blankets, boots and some food and water.

Before you leave

  • Let someone know your travel routes.
  • Call ahead to your destination if people will be waiting, let them know your ETA and give them your cell # just in case.
  • Check road conditions and weather conditions and modify your route appropriately
  • Don’t travel alone – take a friend or travel with other vehicles

While driving

  • Think – monitor where you are and if something should happen be able to tell someone your approximate location.  This would be helpful to two truck drivers, the highway patrol, etc.
  • If the road conditions worsen, seek refuge!  Better to arrive late than risk your life.
  • If you have to pull over and you choose to stay in the car – conserve your fuel by running the vehicle occasionally.  This will help put time on your side.
  • When sitting in your car with it running, crack the window to eliminate the possibility of carbon monoxide build up.

Safe driving!