What to do if you are stranded or in an accident during winter
Winter poses may threats to people living in Colorado. Winter storms obviously pose serious risks for those travelling. Even when a winter storm isn’t pounding down on Colorado roads, drivers should still be aware of the safe driving behaviors that can keep everyone safe this winter season.
The Colorado Department of Transportation, the Colorado State Patrol, American Red Cross and the AAA offered several tips and considerations drivers in Colorado should make this winter season. The groups issued the following recommendations for Colorado drivers:
Have a winter safety kit-kits are very important to have if your vehicle breaks down or if you are caught in a snow storm. Kits should include a battery powered radio, flashlight, snow scraper, flares, blankets, water, non-perishable food, First Aid kit, jumper cables and tire chains.
While driving, make sure everyone is wearing his or her seatbelt. Slow down and don’t follow other vehicles or snow plows too closely. Avoid cellphone use, especially when it is snowing or the roads are slippery. Allow more space when driving around commercial trucks as they are harder to control in certain weather conditions and they may not be able to see smaller vehicles as well.
If your car breaks down, gets stuck or if you are involved in an auto accident, you should try and move your vehicle to the side of the road or into the shoulder. Turn on emergency flashers and stay with your vehicle with your seatbelt on. If you need to exit the vehicle, try to get out on the side furthest away from the road or traffic. Call the police or roadside assistance for help.
While it is difficult to prepare for these types of situations, making precautions and knowing what to do can make all the difference. Winter driving can be difficult and even scary at times but following these safety tips can create a safer, calmer environment for drivers who face the winter roads in Colorado this season.
Source: Pagosa Daily Post, “Winter Driving is Here,” Dec. 19, 2012
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