Over The River and Through The Woods
Obviously this title is in reference to the old Christmas song about loading up the sleigh with the kids and
baskets of food and heading off over the hills and through the trees to Grandma and Grandpa’s house. No
maps, GPS, cell phones because the horse knew the way. So fast forward to freeways and of course we know
where we are going (mostly), but can’t always count on great weather to make it an easy trip if we are driving
somewhere for the holidays. Here are some safe driving tips if you are planning a winter trip.
Prevent Car Problems before you start off. Temperatures drop, tires deflate, batteries lose capacity and strain
takes a toll on your car. Before your mechanic gets overwhelmed, make sure you have done your winter tune
up. Keep fluids topped off, keep the gas tank at least half full, and use gas-line antifreeze, to prevent fuel lines
from freezing, and make sure your tires are properly inflated.
Make a Road Kit that includes a small shove, a traction mat (carpet samples are great and don’t take up a lot of
space), tire chains, a flashlight with fresh batteries, booster cables, warning flares or triangles, a good ice
scraper, a small bag of sand or kitty litter, a red flag to place on the antenna, and a cell phone charger. This is
basic of course. Always carry a couple of blankets, energy bars, and water.
Keep in Touch with your destination folks. Map your route (AAA members can take advantage of Trip Check),
Google maps can be used to plan a route, paper maps still work (children like following where the car is going by
looking out the car windows for road signs). Most important is to remember that the GPS doesn’t always know
which roads might be closed for the winter. If the weather is really bad, you might want to
postpone traveling. Most states have highway information websites or cell phone apps. Know how to use them.
But not while driving!
Braking in winter on snowy or rainy roads is different than summer. On slippery roads, press steadily on the
brake if your car has an antilock braking system, but pump the brake if you don’t. Never use the emergency
brake and don’t slam down hard. If you do start to slide, take your foot off the gas and steer into the slide
instead of trying to turn out of it.
Take It Slow if the roads are wet and icy. Stay at the speed limit or less and keep a longer distance between
you and the car ahead of you. Remember that stopping is going to take longer. Stay alert, take a break every
couple of hours, keep the radio on if you are traveling alone.
Stay Put if your car breaks down. Stay inside and turn on your flashers for visibility. Put your flares out. To
prevent carbon monoxide poisoning if you are stuck in snow, run the engine for very short periods of time, just
enough to stay warm. Make sure your GPS is turned on with your cell phone.
Use common sense when traveling. Avoid getting into road rage incidents if one happens. Get off the road
into a safe place if you feel threatened. Never, ever try to ‘fight back’ or get even. Its not worth it to take those
Thank you for visiting our blog and reading our latest tips on being a better Roseville Home Insurance or Rocklin Home Insurance consumer!