Special to GUIDON
Driving on snowy or icy roads requires special attention to safety. Here are tips from the Missouri Department of Transportation to help you get ready for winter:
Before the trip
— Check out road conditions. MoDOT’s Traveler Information Map offers current views of road conditions and is available as an application for most mobile phones.
— Call MoDOT’s toll-free Customer Service Center for current road condition information at 888.275.6636.
— Winterize your car with fresh antifreeze, a good battery, a properly operating exhaust system and oil that will withstand the rigors of cold weather.
— Check your tires, brakes, windshield wipers and windshield wiper fluid.
— Equip your vehicle with: a flashlight with extra batteries, a first-aid kit, necessary medications, blankets, extra clothing, a small sack of sand to use for traction under your wheels, a small shovel, booster cables, tools, nonperishable foods and bottled water.
During the trip
— If possible, postpone your travel until roads have been plowed and cleared.
— Slow down and adjust your speed.
— Give snowplows plenty of room and don’t pass them.
— Remember that driving is most dangerous when temperatures are below 32 degrees.
If you’re trapped in your car
— Stay in the vehicle. Don’t leave to search for help.
— Display a trouble sign. Hang a brightly colored cloth on the antenna.
— Run the engine for about 10 minutes each hour. Run the heater only when the vehicle is running.
— Keep the exhaust pipe clear of snow, and open a window slightly for ventilation.
— Don’t stay in one position for too long.
— If more than one person is in the car, take turns sleeping.
— Use newspapers, maps and even car mats for added insulation.
(Editor’s note: This article was originally published on modot.org.)