by Sue Shekut, Licensed Massage Therapist, ACSM Personal Trainer, Certified Wellness Coach, Owner, Working Well Massage
Good health is not just about fitness and nutrition. We all make choices each day that impact our well being, our long term health and ultimately our happiness. On Christmas day I spent a wonderful time with my family and a not so wonderful time driving on the Chicago area highways traveling from one celebration to another. I am extremely grateful that I was able to spend time with the people I care about, but driving on ice and snow makes me extra nervous–and extra cautious.
In the Chicago area, driving, either to work or to school or to the store, is an everyday occurance. It’s tough to get away from traffic and other drivers. Aside from the stress of driving in congested traffic, each time you get behind the wheel you must make many choices that impact your health directly. For example, wearing your safety belt, we all know, can save your life. So can taking your time and yielding to other drivers. The car is not the place to take out your aggression, have a power struggle or show off. Driving in snowy and icy conditions requires a clear head and a steady hand. But there are many other considerations. Follow the Safe Driving Tips from the Department of Occupational Health and Safety to make sure your winter drives keep you and your family safe and sound.
Tips for Winter Driving
The Three P’s of Safe Winter Driving
• PREPARE for the trip
• PROTECT yourself; and
• PREVENT crashes on the road
Prepare for the Trip
Maintain Your Car
• Check battery, tire tread, and windshield wipers
• Keep your windows clear
• Put no-freeze fluid in the washer reservoir
• Check your antifreeze levels and make sure your radiator is properly filled
Equipment to Have On Hand
• Jumper cables
• Abrasive material (sand, kitty litter, even floor mats)
• Snow brush and ice scraper
• Flares or other warning devices
• Blanket and extra warm clothes
• Cell phone
• For long trips, add food and water and any medication you may need if stranded
What to Do if You Are Stopped or Stalled?
• Stay with your car
• Don’t over exert
• Put bright markers on antenna or windows and shine dome light
• If you run your car, clear exhaust pipe and run it just enough to stay warm
Plan Your Route
• Allow plenty of time (check the weather and leave early if necessary)
• Be familiar with the maps/directions/GPS
• Let others know your route and arrival time
Practice Cold Weather Driving!
• During daylight, rehearse maneuvers slowly on the ice or snow in an empty lot
• Steer into a skid
• Know what your brakes will do: stomp onantilock brakes, pump non-antilock brakes
• Stopping distances are longer on water-covered ice and ice
• Don’t idle for a long time with the windows up or in an enclosed space
Protect Yourself and Your Passaengers
• Buckle up and use child safety seats properly
• Never place a rear-facing infant seat in front of an air bag
• Children 12 and under are much safer in the back seat
• Drugs and alcohol never mix with driving
• Slow down and increase distances between cars
• Keep your eyes open for pedestrians walking in the road
•Avoid fatigue – Get plenty of rest before the trip, stop at least every three hours, and rotate drivers if possible
Planning a road trip through snow and ice?
Read more road-tested tips from professional driving instructor Bob Schaller to help keep you safe, warm, and on track. RTA’s Road Food Guru Dennis Weaver also tells how to stay hydrated and nourished in cold weather.
Read Schaller’s tips <a title=”Road trip America” href=”http://www.roadtripamerica.com/travelplanning/Winter-Driving.htm” at RoadTripAmerica here.
Who is Bob Schaller and Why Should I Listen to His Tip
“I live for road trips” could be Bob Schaller‘s mantra. His love for exploring began at the age of three when he explored his neighborhood by tricycle. Following a stint in the US military, Bob was a long-haul truck driver, a commercial pilot, an industrial supply salesman, a college student, and a civil servant working in Arizona’s judicial branch for thirteen years. A recognized expert in Arizona traffic law, Bob teaches defensive driving classes all over the state and is author of the online defensive driving manual Drive Safe with Uncle Bob. His wanderlust remains as hearty as ever, and he is an occasional contributor to the Great American RoadTrip Forum.
Related articles by Zemanta
- Tips: Help Your Teenager Drive Safely (abcnews.go.com)
- Zero Tolerance Seat Belt Compaign Under Way In New York (888redlight.wordpress.com)
- Defensive Driving (defensivedrivingus.com)