Sullivan County residents know a thing or twenty about driving in snowy and icy conditions. While it isn't new, each year when the first storm hits during the busy 5 p.m. commute hour (such as the …
Sullivan County residents know a thing or twenty about driving in snowy and icy conditions. While it isn't new, each year when the first storm hits during the busy 5 p.m. commute hour (such as the squalls causing icy conditions on Tuesday evening), a couple accidents follow as drivers need a reminder of how to drive in hazardous conditions.
For most, it's that first minor skid or the activation of those ABS brakes. However, for some it results in the totalling of their vehicles or worse.
Here are just a few tips to serve as reminders or a value guide for someone who may have recently relocated from an area with a much warmer climate.
• Make sure your car is in good shape. Has it been serviced recently? Is your battery well charged or nearing the end of its life? How are your lights? Do you have enough windshield wiper fluid? And definitely make sure you invest in some good snow tires.
• Be prepared for an emergency. This includes making sure you have items like a snow shovel, snow brush, and ice scraper. Also have jumper cables, a flashlight, and warning devices such as flares and emergency markers. In case you have to wait around for a tow truck, make sure you have a blanket to keep you warm, and that your cell phone is charged. It also helps to have water, food and necessary medicine handy.
The National Traffic Safety Highway Administration says if you are stopped or stalled in wintry weather, follow these safety rules: “Stay with your car and don't overexert yourself; Put bright markers on the antenna or windows and keep the interior dome light turned on; and to avoid asphyxiation from carbon monoxide poisoning, don't run your car for long periods of time with the windows up or in an enclosed space. If you must run your vehicle, clear the exhaust pipe of any snow and run it only sporadically — just long enough to stay warm.”
• And finally drive smart. This includes leaving plenty of space in between you and other vehicles in case you have to stop fast and lose control; if you hit a patch of ice, do not over correct; Take it slow in wintry conditions, and leave early if you have to be somewhere to give yourself more time to make it there; avoid taking risks such as passing vehicles on two-lane roads; and be courteous and careful around snowplows.
2020 has been a rough year as it is, don't let a winter wreck make things even worse!
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