Winter Driving Safety Tips

Jessica Kelly, MPH, CHES
Health Educator
Livingston and Millburn Health Department
jekelly@livingstonnj.org
973-535-7961 ext. 227

 

Drive Safe this Winter

 

winter

It is that time of year when college students are coming home, families and friends are getting together to celebrate the holidays, and it is getting colder out.  It is best to be fully prepared to drive during the winter weather, when road conditions can be more treacherous with snow and ice.  With winter and the holidays approaching; the Livingston Health Department would like to share some driving safety tips.

Make sure your car is well maintained for traveling during the winter; by making sure your battery and tires are good, you have enough antifreeze, you have a spare tire that is good still, your windshield wipers are working, and you have a full tank of gas.  Be sure to fully clean any snow off your car windows, head and tail lights, as well as the roof of your car.  If you are planning to drive when there is snow and ice, make sure you let someone else know your travel plan and have them check on you.

It is important to always have an emergency kit in your car as well in the event something should happen.  Your emergency kit should consist of jumper cables if you have them, a flashlight with an extra set of batteries, flares, a first aid kit, bottles of water, and non-perishable food items (such as protein bars, nuts, and dried fruit).  Additional items to include in your emergency kit for the winter include a shovel, ice scraper/snow brush, bag of salt to melt snow, and blankets/warm clothing.  Also make sure to bring any medication you may need as well as additional medication in case you get stuck somewhere.  If you have a cell phone bring it with you and make sure it is fully charged and that you have the charger with you as well.  If you have AAA make sure you have your membership card with you in case you need it.  If you happen to get stuck, stay in your car for shelter.  Put bright markers on your car so it is more visible to responders.  You can keep your car warm by starting it for 10 minutes every hour, just make sure your exhaust pipe is clear of snow/mud.

When driving during the winter, check the weather before traveling to determine if you may be driving in snow/icy conditions.  Have everything prepared if you are going on a trip the night before and make sure you get a good night’s sleep.  Make sure everyone in the car is wearing their seat belt and any car seats you may have for young children are secured properly.  When driving in snow and ice, be sure to give yourself extra stopping distance between you and the car in front you and when approaching stop signs as well as traffic lights.  Also, drive more slowly in snow and ice, try and avoid braking on ice, and don’t use cruise control.

 

Have a happy and healthy holiday season!

For more information visit…

https://www.osha.gov/Publications/SafeDriving.pdf

http://www.nsc.org/learn/safety-knowledge/Pages/news-and-resources-winter-your-car-and-you.aspx

For further educational information contact Jessica Kelly, MPH, CHES Health Educator for Livingston Health Department at 973-535-7961 ext. 227