Extreme Temperatures: Winter Driving

Material provided by Federal Alliance for Safe Homes http://www.flash.org/

About 70 percent of winter deaths related to snow and ice occur in automobiles. Consider public transportation if you must travel. If you travel by car, travel in the day, don't travel alone and keep others informed of your schedule. Stay on main roads. Winterize your car: This includes a battery check, antifreeze, wipers, thermostat, heater, brakes, defroster, flashing hazard lights, oil level and tires. Consider using snow tires. Keep you car's gas tank full.

Trapped in Your Car

If a blizzard traps you in your car: Pull off the highway. Turn on hazard lights. Remain in your vehicle where rescuers are most likely to find you. Do not set out on foot unless you can see a building close by. Run the engine and heater about ten minutes each hour to keep warm. When the engine is running open the window slightly for ventilation. Huddle with passengers to stay warm and take turns sleeping. One person should be awake at all times to look for rescue crews. Drink fluids to avoid dehydration. Be careful not to waste battery power. At night turn on the inside light so rescue crews can see you.

Create a Winter Car Kit

Carry a "winter car kit" in the trunk of your car. The kit should include: shovel, windshield scraper, battery-powered radio, flashlight, extra batteries, water, snack food, mittens, hat, blanket, tow chain or rope, tire chains, bag of road salt and sand, fluorescent distress flag, booster cables, road maps, emergency flares and a cell phone or two-way radio.