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Tip 4: Be Prepared

Tip 4: Be Prepared

By Libby Niemi
posted: 02/04/2005

Equipment, research and knowledge are three areas in which drivers need to be prepared. Equipment such as a V8 truck and a towrope are useful; however, a simple vehicle kit can do the trick. A basic vehicle kit checklist includes:

  • Extra warm clothes
  • Extra shoes/boots
  • Extra blanket (the marathon "space blankets" are warm and compact)
  • Snacks
  • Bottled water
  • Lighter/matches
  • Candles
  • Flashlight
  • Shovel
  • Ice scraper
  • Extra pair of gloves
  • First aid kit

    Another effective way drivers can be prepared for winter driving is to check a reliable weather report.

    Finally, there are several signs every driver should recognize to identify a potentially dangerous situation:

  • Watch other vehicles.
  • Are they going slowly?
  • Are they slipping, sliding or fishtailing?
  • Are there vehicles in a ditch?

    These are strong indicators that the road is slicker than it appears. If other vehicle's tires are spraying snow or water, it's an indication that the road is not frozen. However, roads are most dangerous when temperatures are right around freezing. Foust maintains that dangerous conditions exist when temperatures are just below freezing. These temperatures create ice underneath water on the road, causing very slick conditions.

    Also, drivers should be conscious of ice build-up on their windshield. While this may be an indication of poor quality wipers, it's often an indicator of below freezing temperatures.

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