When snow and sleet are falling, the best bet is to stay home. But if you absolutely must drive during dangerous conditions, it’s critical to be prepared. Have a mechanic inspect your car in advance and make sure your battery, tire tread, windshield wipers, and fluid levels are up to snuff. It’s better to be safe than sorry… so keep a set of emergency supplies in your car such as snow shovel, ice scraper with brush, first–aid supplies, food and water, tow chain, tire chains, flashlight with extra batteries, cat litter, sand, or salt for traction, jumper cables, reflective warning devices, extra blankets, hats, and gloves, and matches.
When on the roads remember to:
- Clear snow and ice from all windows and lights
- Pay attention
- Leave extra room for stopping
- Give snow plows and emergency vehicles plenty of room
- Know current road conditions
- Be wary of slippery areas such as bridges
- Go slowly.
If you feel your car losing control, consider this advice from the Indiana Department of Transportation: “Brake early, brake slowly, brake correctly, and never slam on the brakes. If you have anti–lock brakes, press the pedal down firmly and hold it. If you don’t have anti-lock brakes, gently pump the pedal. Either way, give yourself plenty of room to stop.”