The prospect of driving on snowy, icy roads during a Minnesota winter makes safety practices essential.
Here are five tips to help you remain safe on the highways and byways during the unpredictable weather that accompanies the colder months.
1. Prepare your vehicle
Make an appointment to have your vehicle tuned up. Ask the mechanic to check for leaks or other issues requiring repair. Be sure you understand the safety features of your vehicle. If you own an electric or hybrid-electric car, ensure that the battery is properly charged before heading out.
2. Check your tires and more
Check your tire pressure. Look for any punctures, scrapes or bulges. Make sure your headlights and brake lights are in good working order. Check your windshield wiper fluid. Your reservoir should be full of winterizing deicer.
3. Carry supplies
Items to carry in your vehicle in case of an emergency include:
– Ice scraper, snow shovel
– Sand or kitty litter in case your vehicle gets stuck in the snow
– Jumper cables, flashlight, emergency markers
– Cell phone with charger, water, food and medicines for longer trips
4. Drive carefully
Slow down in order to avoid skidding on slick surfaces. If you stall or have to stop, stay with your vehicle. Put out your emergency markers. Do not run your vehicle with the windows up for extended periods, only for short periods to stay warm.
5. Monitor conditions
Even a minor vehicle accident during dangerous winter conditions could leave you with a significant injury, such as spinal cord or brain damage. Before you start your trip, whether you’re going across town or across the state, be sure to check the weather and road conditions. Also, inform others of your route and when you expect to arrive at your destination.