Winter Safety Tips and Preparations

How can you be assured you can safely get your kids to school, yourself to work, and any other place you need to go?  It is important to be prepared before the first snowflake hits the pavement.  

Tips for Preparation:

  • Check tires for tread wear and proper inflation.  A good set of tires can provide your car with traction even in adverse weather conditions. 
  • Check the condition of windshield wipers. 
  • Check your defroster and make sure it works properly. 
  • Check washer fluid reservoir.  Make sure you use a fluid that will not freeze in lower temperatures. 
  • Make sure you have a brush/ice scraper in your vehicle 
  • Prepare an emergency kit (blankets, water, food, jumper cables, etc.) and place in your vehicle. 
 School zone

Safety Tips:

Before leaving home or work, find out the driving conditions and prepare yourself to drive defensively and understand that you might encounter roads that are covered in snow and ice. 
  • Slow down.  Careless driving and high speeds are the number one cause of most winter accidents. 
  • Take extra caution on bridges and overpasses.  Remember that bridge crossings are highly susceptible to freeze first. 
  • Turn on your lights.  This makes your vehicle more visible to others. 
  • Learn the city plowing routes to make your travels safer.  Plan alternative routes in wintery conditions.  
  • When there is a storm, only travel when absolutely necessary. 
  • Use extra caution when driving near snow plows.  If you happen to get behind the snowplow crew, please be patient and keep your distance (at least 50 feet).  If you are too close, plow trucks will be unable to see your vehicle. 
  • Never pass the snowplows by using oncoming traffic lanes.  Refrain from passing any snow plow until the plow vehicle stops or turns.  
  • Remember that a typical snow plow is wider than most driving lanes.  Visibility may be impaired by blowing snow or other winter conditions.  Avoid driving into a snow spray cloud that is created by the plow as this may cause a total “white out” of zero visibility to the driver. 
  • Do not pass grouped snow plows.  Multi-lane streets are often plowed by groups of two or more plows.  This clears travel lanes faster in adverse conditions.  It is not safe to pass and get between plows due to snow spray and distance.  The plows are clearing a path and the safest place to be is 50 feet behind the last plow. 
  • Do not drive over windrows.  Try to plan a path that incorporates windrow openings, even if it means driving a few blocks out of the way.  Driving through windrows can be dangerous and hinders snow removal efforts.