Are you planning a road trip during the winter months? Everyone knows that driving conditions can be hazardous during the colder months. It’s important to know some road safety tips in winter, these could help you avoid accidents, potentially saving your life.
Road Safety Tips In Winter
Anyone who has taken a cross country trip around the U.S. knows that there are areas of the country where you can travel for miles without coming across another driver or town. This means if you don’t take the time to get your vehicle inspected before your trip and it breaks down, you might find yourself stranded out in the middle of nowhere, in freezing weather, with no one to assist. Even if you have a mobile phone, there are many isolated areas where cell coverage is very poor, making it hard to seek assistance. It could be a long time before someone else comes along, if at all. Remember, not only is a vehicle inspection necessary to ensure you are keeping it properly maintained, it also helps identify potential manufacturing defects.
Do Not Pick Up Hitchhikers
While hitchhiking was a popular way to travel 50 years ago, times have changed. Sure, not every hitchhiker is a potential danger, but is it worth the risk? Being a good Samaritan is laudable but there are times where you must place your own safety first, and while some Americans do carry guns for protection during road trips, it should be noted that gun laws and concealed carry regulations differ by state, so choose your route accordingly.
Bring Emergency and Backup Equipment
Those traveling long distances should always bring emergency and backup supplies in case unforeseen situations occur while you’re on the road. This is especially true for those who might be traveling with aging parents or grandparents. If someone has a medical emergency, you should know how to apply basic first aid, and have the necessary prescription medication on hand. Finally, be sure to bring extra food, fuel, and spare tires to get you through any minor inconveniences or potential accidents that could leave you stranded for a period of time.
Avoid Staying in Rest Stops
Many cross country drivers tend to use rest stops, either because they don’t want to pay for the cost of a hotel or they feel the nearest available lodging is too far away. The trouble with rest stops is that although they are cheap, or free, they’ve developed a bad reputation because criminals have started using them to target potential victims.
There have been several high-profile cases in the U.S. and Canada where travelers staying at rest stops were assaulted, robbed, and even killed. The remoteness of the area, combined with the usual lack of witnesses, often make such cases difficult to solve. If you want to stop for some rest, wait until you can find a hotel or motel in an area that is well lit and has security cameras.
Drive Carefully During Blizzards
Those traveling during winter might find themselves caught in a blizzard. You do not want to stop or pull over, as you might get stuck and it could be hours before you can move, if at all. Instead, you will want to continue driving at a reasonable pace, while maintaining extra space between you and any vehicles in front. Do not brake and turn simultaneously, and if the vehicle starts to skid, remain calm and turn the wheel towards the skid direction to reacquire traction. Next, gradually straighten your wheel until the vehicle recovers.