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Safe winter driving begins with early preparation

Winter drivingIt happens every year. This year is no different. Soon, the snow will fly, the winds will howl, and driving becomes an extra challenge. Whether it’s getting to and from your workplace, or making deliveries during the day, there are steps you can take to ease the potential for problems.

Preparation should start in the fall with basic maintenance. Have your car checked for leaks, bad hoses, belts, and burned out lights. During the visit, the battery and engine cooling system should be looked at and the anti-freeze tested. It’s also a good time to make sure your tires have the proper amount of tread and inflation—you’ll need that traction when the snow starts to pile up.

Also pay attention to your windshield. With a lower sun angle this time of year, it can be harder to see. Keep your windshield clean to reduce glare. Be sure to have your windshield washer reservoir filled to capacity and check to make sure your wipers aren’t worn out.

Be prepared

Even with a properly winterized car, the one thing you can’t control is the snow. Getting stuck is a real possibility during wintertime driving. That’s where your vehicle emergency kit comes in. It should include the following items:

  • First aid kit
  • Blanket
  • Flashlight and extra batteries
  • Shovel
  • Ice scraper
  • Snowbrush
  • Nonperishable, high-calorie food such as nuts and raisins
  • Jumper cables
  • Reflective triangles
  • Extra clothes
  • Extra traction aids like sand or cat litter

Winter driving tips

Before you even get behind the wheel, take out your snowbrush and remove the snow from your vehicle—including the roof, headlights, taillights, and wheel wells. Be sure to take the time to plan your trip and let others know where you’re going and when you plan to arrive. And be aware of the forecast and know the difference between watches, advisories, and warnings.

Once you’re out on the winter roads, the best safety rule to follow is to slow down. Also wear a seat belt and keep plenty of distance between you and other vehicles. Some other things to consider:

  • Know your route
  • Stay on main roads
  • Travel in daylight if possible
  • Carry a map or GPS device
  • Check on road conditions
  • Leave room for plows and maintenance vehicles—at least 200 feet

While winter driving can be stressful, with the proper preparation, common sense, and following these driving tips, you’ll get to your destination safe and sound. Talk with your Hortica representative for more tips to help keep you and your workers safe this winter.


Related links:

For more information on safety preparation for your business, check out the Hortica Resources section.