Winter Travel Safety Tips

There are a lot of wonderful things that are unique to winter – cozy blankets, hot cocoa, dazzling Christmas lights, just to name a few. But there are also quite a few dangers that are unique to winter as well and, unfortunately, they are often overlooked in the merriment of the season.

 A lot of these dangers involve hazardous weather conditions, particularly conditions that affect travel. So before you set out on that trip to Grandmother’s house (over the river and through the woods, of course), you may want to read through some travel safety tips to make sure you stay safe throughout your journey. In many cases, a little preparation can go a long way. 

  • Before you depart on your trip, make sure you check the weather conditions for your route. If it is going to be very snowy or icy, consider staying home. No matter how safe of a driver you are, wintry conditions present an inherent risk.
  •  It’s always a good idea to avoid driving on a nearly empty tank of gas, but it is particularly important to follow this advice during the winter months. You definitely don’t want to be stuck in a snowstorm with no fuel. Try to keep your gas tank at least halfway full at all times.
  •  As tempting as it may be, don’t warm your car up in the garage before you head off for your destination. Letting your engine idle in an enclosed space where the exhaust fumes can’t easily escape can present a carbon monoxide threat. You may even want to install a carbon monoxide detector in your garage, especially if you also use a space heater there during the winter. Like exhaust fumes, space heaters can create a potential carbon monoxide threat.
  •  If you are driving through the ice or snow, give yourself more time and distance for braking. It takes longer to slow down on slick surfaces.
  •  Reduce your speed in snowy conditions, but not drastically. Driving too slowly could leave you without enough momentum to make it through the snow.
  •  If you are going on a long trip, make sure you keep water and snacks in your car. Dehydration and hunger can affect your concentration considerably, which can present an additional threat when you are driving in rough conditions.
  •  Keep a winter travel safety kit in your car with items like a flashlight, an ice scraper and blankets.
  • If you get stuck in the snow, you should stay in your vehicle to stay warm until help can arrive. But first, check to make sure the exhaust pipe is clear of any kind of obstruction, such as snow or ice. An obstruction lodged in your exhaust pipe could lead to carbon monoxide buildup.

This guest post was shared with Right at Home by Elle Aldridge from Home Security Systems. The safety and security of aging relatives is important, so readers of this article are encouraged to review the optional home security equipment offered by Home Security Systems. Right at Home thanks Elle Aldridge and Home Security Systems for sharing this helpful travel information and wishes all of our readers a safe and prosperous holiday season!



1 Comment

  1. Shannon January 06, 2014 10:21 AM

    These are great tips. Driving in the winter can be risky depending on the weather. I always check the weather before I make any long trip to make sure I can't get stuck anywhere.

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