Winter Safety Tips and Tricks

Sarah Rollines

Welcome back to another winter safety tip. 

With Thanksgiving break approaching and all the hectic travel it entails, this week’s topic is especially pertinent: vehicle safety kits and travel precautions.

Remember to always check your travel path for detours and road construction, as well as incoming weather, and plan accordingly.

Side roads may get you around traffic, but they’re less likely to be plowed or salted as highways are. 

Also, if you break down on a highway, you’re more likely to be seen and assisted faster.

Keep your insurance papers where you can reach them, especially if you have AAA roadside assistance or other roadside assistance through your insurance.

Check your antifreeze levels, wiper blades and tire pressure. 

Problems with these are often not apparent until you’re already on the road, so be preventative and check beforehand.

Keep a full or near-full tank of gas in order to avoid gas line freeze.

If you’re carrying lots of cargo, put it in the backseat of your car instead of the truck, to maintain a stable center of gravity.

Check your tires, and replace if the tread is less than 2/32 of an inch deep, to avoid balding tires which causes slipping more often.

During travel, remember to avoid using cruise control in icy conditions, and keep a larger following distance between yourself and the car ahead of you. 

It’s important to note that some areas may require additions to the kit. 

This is a typical kit for winter travel as advised by the Center for Disease Control with a few additions from the National Weather Service:

Cell phone, portable charger, a flashlight, a battery-powered radio and extra batteries. 

 “During travel, remember to avoid using cruise control in icy conditions, and keep a larger following distance between yourself and the car ahead of you.” 

Also, blankets, non-perishable food that you don’t need to heat up, maps, a first aid kit and water.

For your car you would need, booster cables, flares, a tire pump and a bag of sand or cat litter. 

Consider also including a tow rope, tool kit and a small shovel. 

Most of this seems ridiculous to pack, especially for someone who may not regularly travel long distances in the winter. 

Yet, it is important to remember that these items may not just be for you. 

Many of these items can allow you to help out a friend who gets stuck in a ditch or breaks down in a parking lot.

Thank you for reading this week’s edition of winter safety tips. 

Please stay safe, and enjoy your Thanksgiving break!