Thursday, January 30, 2014

Stuck in Your Car During a Snowstorm?

Here are some tips on surviving a snowstorm in your car.

If you are stuck in the snow, it is safer to just stay in the car. Unless you have a nearby building or business that is open, and, you can see it clearly is within walking distance.

You should not keep the engine running. You may run out of gas. Better to start and run the car every 20-30 minutes, then shut it off. Never sleep with the car running. Check to make sure that the exhaust pipe is not blocked by snow. You may get carbon monoxide poisoning.

Without the car running, you need to keep warm anyway you can. Wrap yourself in anything available in the car. It is warmer inside the car, even without the heater. You can move around a bit to warm yourself up. Move your hands, clap, stretch, do some arm exercises, etc.

Do not use your cellphone unless you need to. Save the battery life.

Drink any water you have, but melted snow will cool you down.

If emergency personnel show up, follow their instructions. Getting your car out of a tow yard is better than freezing to death.

If you do get unstuck, and are able to drive again, be careful. Go slow and stay in a low gear, even with an automatic transmission. If you have antilock brakes, you can brake harder, but you should still tap them lightly as well. Be careful of bridges and other black ice situations. Another reason to slow down or not drive at all. You need to be aware of snow plows and ice trucks. Don't block them or you may get a ticket. Also do not stop in the middle of an intersection. Avoid hills with ice.

Stay safe by staying off the road!

Friday, January 24, 2014

Winter Driving Tips

Winter has set in and many people in cars will be stranded. Don't let that happen to you. Even if you are stranded, you should have a kit to help you until you can get help, or the weather improves. The biggest tip of course is to not drive. Don't drive in bad Winter weather unless you absolutely must.

Check your headlights and taillights. You need to be seen when the weather gets bad. Visibility can be a major contributor to accidents. You can't see them or they can't see you. Slow down.

Before driving, check your engine. If you have difficulty starting or the engine sounds bad, get it checked by a mechanic. Driving a car with something waiting to go wrong is a bad idea in any type of weather, but could prove fatal in Winter. Check your battery for fully charging and loose wires or connections, and any corrosion.

These are always an afterthought: Windshield wipers. People just don't check them until the need them. Always check your wipers before driving to make sure they are cleaning the window and make good contact.

Check the tire pressure. With cold temperatures the tires lose pressure. Very low pressure could make for a dangerous driving situation.

Put emergency supplies in your car. Here's a good list: Blankets, gloves, hats, water, flashlight, flares,  tool kit, and boots.

Stay safe driving, but only drive in bad weather if you have to!

>>Choosing the right generator.