5-Minute Safety Talk: Driver Safety – Snow and Ice

Knowing how to drive safely on ice or with snow on the roads can be the difference between life and death.

Knowing how to drive safely on ice or with snow on the roads can be the difference between life and death.

Safe Winter Driving Tips

Reduce your driving speed. Posted speed limit signs are for dry pavement only.
  • Buckle-up every time you get into your vehicle.
  • Clear snow and ice from all windows and lights prior to driving.
  • Clear snow from the hood and roof as much as possible.
  • Check road conditions before traveling and allow for extra travel time or consider delaying the trip if the weather is too dangerous.
  • Use low-beam headlights, even in the daytime.
  • Driving speed depends on road conditions and visibility.
  • Lengthen your following distance. It takes more time to stop in adverse conditions.
  • Do not use cruise control in wintry conditions.
  • If your vehicle begins to skid, turn into the skid and gently tap the brakes to bring your vehicle under control.
  • If the vehicle is equipped with anti-lock brakes, apply steady pressure to avoid skidding.
  • Watch for icy bridges and bridge decks – even when the pavement is in good condition.
  • Change lanes or merge slowly to avoid skidding.
  • Look further ahead in traffic to give yourself extra time to safely react.
  • Four-wheel drive vehicles may take longer to stop. A 4 X 4 vehicle can lose traction as quickly as a two-wheel drive vehicle.
  • Keep a safe distance between your vehicle and snow plows. Do not attempt to pass on the right-hand side.

What if You Get Stuck?

Clear snow and ice from all windows and lights prior to driving.
  • Don’t Panic! Do not over exert yourself trying to get the vehicle out of the snow.
  • Turn on the flashing lights, set up flares or put brightly colored cloth on the antenna.
  • Stay with your vehicle unless you can see help within 100 yards. Watch for traffic or rescuers.
  • Make sure the exhaust pipe is free of snow and run the engine about 10 minutes every hour. Keep a window open slightly.
  • Bundle up for warmth – layer on all clothing that you need to keep warm (avoid sweating).
  • Monitor for frostbite, hypothermia or carbon monoxide poisoning.
NHTSA* CHECKLIST &
TIPS FOR SAFE WINTER DRIVING
GET YOUR CAR SERVICED BEFORE COLD
AND ICY WEATHER HITS.
CHECK YOUR BATTERY, BE SURE ITS UP
TO THE CHALLENGES OF WINTER.
CHECK THE COOLING SYSTEM, BE SURE THAT
THE COOLANT IS DESIGNED TO WITHSTAND
WINTER TEMPERATURES.
FILL YOUR WINDSHIELD WASHER RESERVOIR.
CHECK YOUR WINDSHIELD WIPERS AND DEFROSTERS.
VERIFY FLOOR MAT INSTALLATION WILL
NOT INTERFERE WITH GAS PEDAL OR BRAKES.
INSPECT YOUR TIRES,
IS THE TREAD SUFFICIENT WITH NO UNEVEN WEAR?
STOCK YOUR VEHICLE & CARRY ITEMS LIKE:
• Snow shovel, broom and ice scraper
• Abrasive materials such as sand or kitty litter
• Jumper cables
• Blankets
• Cell phone and charger
• Water and food, etc.