WINTER DRIVING TIPS FOR A SAFE AND HAPPY NEW YEAR
Show Low police urge motorists to be careful
SHOW LOW, Ariz. (January 5, 2015) – With winter upon us, here are some safe driving tips from the Show Low Police department, especially when driving on icy, snow-packed or slick surfaces. Use the mindset that driving on a slick road is like trying to play basketball on a hockey rink. Because your vehicle’s traction is compromised, it is impossible to make sudden starts, stops and changes in direction. Accelerate slowly, allow more time to slow down and almost come to a stop before moving side to side.
The best advice is not to drive but if you must, allow extra time to reach your destination. Decrease your speed and allow extra stopping distance, at least three times more than normal. Also remember that front-wheel drive, all-wheel drive and four-wheel drive vehicles can still have issues. These types of vehicles just make it easier to move, but do nothing to improve braking and will slide the same as you try to stop.
Back into your driveway, if possible, because it makes it easier to drive out. Make sure your headlights are on and cleared of snow or ice for other drivers to see you. Defrost your windows fully and keep your windshield and mirrors clear. Be sure to brush all the snow off your car before you drive. Snow left behind can obscure your vision, blow onto your windshield and impede your wipers, sift into the ventilation and fog up the windshield, blow off and distract other drivers or cover your back windshield or lights. Buckle up and try not to travel alone or at least tell someone your estimated arrival time and your route. Use lower gears but do not use cruise control. If you begin to slide, steer in the direction of the slide. If you have regular brakes pump them gently, but if you have anti-lock brakes do not pump them.
If you do happen to become stranded or stuck, turn your wheels back and forth to clear the snow from around the tires. Stay with your vehicle and avoid getting frustrated. Make sure your exhaust is not blocked. Place a flare at the front and back of your vehicle and tie a bright cloth to your antenna if you have them. Run your car and heater for 10 minutes each hour. Do not eat cold snow; it will lower your body temperature. Brush snow off your clothes and kick slush off your boots before you get in the vehicle because melting snow adds humidity to the air which can fog the windows.
Before traveling, check your car to make sure you have enough fuel, the washer fluid container is full and your exhaust is in good shape. Check to make sure that your tires (and spare tire), belts, wipers and battery are all in good working order. Make sure that you have a tool kit handy, if needed. Put together an emergency kit to keep in your vehicle containing such items as a flashlight and batteries, a good scraper with a brush, a shovel, salt or non-clumping cat litter, jumper cables, clothing to keep you warm (blanket, gloves, hat), non-perishable food items, chains, tow strap, first aid kit, matches (sealed) and flares or reflectors.
Please drive safely and make this new year a happy one instead of a tragic one.
Contact:Shawn Roby, Police Administrative Sergeant
Phone:(928) 537-5091, ext. 232