When driving in winter weather conditions, use these safety tips.


• Review weather reports for the latest storm watches, warnings and advisories.
• Get proper rest before and during every trip.
• Dress appropriately for the weather.
• Winterize your vehicle before the winter season.
• Perform a thorough pre-trip inspection, including the heater and defroster, before starting your trip and make all necessary repairs.


• Stay alert. Slightly open a window to provide fresh air.
• Slow down and never drive faster than your vehicle has the ability to stop and maneuver in a controlled manner.
• Turn off the cruise control so you are in control of your vehicle.
• Keep at least an eight-second following distance to allow more time to stop and maneuver.
• Never overestimate your vehicle’s ability to perform beyond its safety limitations or traction capability, or your driving ability. Also consider how your load affects safe handling.
• Drive defensively and look further down the road to anticipate emergencies.
• Avoid sudden turns, stops or accelerations.
• Be prepared for other motorists’ erratic and uncontrolled driving.
• Give snowplows and other road equipment plenty of room.
• Watch for ice and black ice, especially on bridges, overpasses and parking lots.
• Do not pass on or near a bridge or overpass.
• Use extra caution on hills and be prepared to stop. Traffic may be backed up on the other side and the road may be slick.
• Do not take any unnecessary chances. If conditions are too dangerous to drive, pull off the road at the first safe location.


• Make sure your load is distributed evenly to maintain vehicle stability.
• Plan a primary and alternate travel route and advise dispatch.
• Carry a winter storm survival kit.
• If you become stranded, stay with your vehicle, turn on your hazard lights, display a brightly colored cloth on the antenna, conserve fuel as much as possible, keep the exhaust pipe clear and leave the dome light on when your vehicle’s engine is running so you can be seen.
• Perform minor exercises to maintain warmth and blood circulation, but avoid overexertion.
• Use extra clothing and blankets for added insulation to stay warm.
• Keep one window, away from the blowing wind, slightly open to let in fresh air.
• Inspect, repair and clean windows, windshield wipers, mirrors, lights, reflective tape and any hazmat placards. Road salt residue greatly reduces headlight brightness.
• Clean headlights, vehicle lights, windows and mirrors regularly.
• Keep the fuel tank as full as possible, using the proper fuel or additives to prevent gelling.
• Protect air brake air supply from freezing. Bleed air brakes often. Check automatic bleeders frequently to verify they have not frozen.
• Pack a snow scraper, sturdy shovel, extra fuel filter, winter windshield washer fluid and abrasive material (like sand).
• Clean all hand and foot holds of ice and snow

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