Winter Driving Tips

January 06, 2014

Frost and snow are in full throttle this month, but as Utahans, we have adapted to the assaulting cold and whiteout weather of our home. The bright winter sun is reflecting off billions of snowflake diamonds and a calm brilliance has taken over. This winter wonderland reminds us that the time of year for snowboarding, skiing, and many other activities. It also reminds us that the time for dangerous driving conditions is upon us.

It is wet, slick and icy outside. You keep track of ways to keep your family safe all year and now you want to do all you can to keep them safe as you move from school to work to all of your activities. So what can you do to keep your family safe on the roads this winter?

Three years ago I was driving home at night from Wyoming to Utah and halfway through I ran into a large snow storm. I debated about whether I should pull over and wait it out or continue on at a slower pace and hope it would lighten soon. There were minimal cars on the road and I didn’t have supplies in my car so I decided to push on more slowly. I hit a patch of ice and fishtailed for a moment before colliding with a cement median. I was in the middle of nowhere with minimal service on my phone, no blankets, food or water. I was in shock and confused as to what I should do. I finally collected my senses and was able to get a call through to 911. My car was totaled and I suffered several injuries. I wish I had been more prepared and I would like to help you avoid finding yourself in this situation so here are a few tips that you should be mindful of this winter in order to keep your season safe and happy.

Make sure your vehicle is in tip top safety condition.

This includes snow tires, getting your brakes checked, being certain that your headlights and windshield wipers are working properly and that your fluids are topped off. Keep jumper cables in your vehicle and check that seatbelts are available and being used.

Be prepared.

You may find yourself suddenly in the middle of as storm you didn’t anticipate. In this situation it is better safe than sorry. Find the closest available safe place to stop and wait it out. Keep blankets, snacks, water, and activities in your vehicle to keep your family comfortable and entertained while you wait for safer driving conditions. Check for updates on weather forecasts and avoid commuting when conditions are dangerous. Use public trains when possible. Keep your insurance contact information readily available for in case of an emergency.

What should you do if you are in a collision?

Call 911. Even in what may seem to be a mild accident, police need to come out and make a report. The dispatcher will walk you through what you need to do as far as making sure that everyone is okay. They will ask you if you are in need of an ambulance and they will send out all the necessary authorities. Seek emergency medical treatment where it is needed. Make an appointment with your chiropractor for an evaluation. If you don’t have a chiropractor, I know a good one I can recommend for you…

It’s a brand new year, let’s start it off prepared!

-Tegan Cross, LMT

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