Colchester, VT -
As Winter Weather Awareness week continues across the Northeast, we'll dive into the driving tips before those first flakes fall across the entire area.
That's me when I'm driving in the winter! I'll admit I'm not the best driver in snow and ice conditions, but I'll also admit that I'm not the worst. That's because I take precautions when snow falls or is in the forecast. First and foremost, I don't drive if I don't have to. I think that is the single best idea for everyone. Here are some helpful tips and informational data, courtesy Burlington's National Weather Service:
As I said, I believe the best way to stay safe this winter season is to stay off the roads when snow and ice are present or forecast. I know this is impossible for everyone to stay off the roads however if you can plan around it, please do. According to http://www.erh.noaa.gov/btv/awareness/winter/ 70% of winter-related deaths occur from accidents during snow/ice storms. If you can stay off the roads during this time, you'll be safer.
Know the road conditions before you head out! Do an Internet search for your local DOT web site by typing in '511' and the state you live in or will be traveling through. I know the local departments in NY/VT/NH do a good job updating road conditions and any closures/accidents. Try to plan your trip by avoiding those worst roads.
Be alert when you're driving! Even taking your eyes off the road to change the radio for a quick couple of seconds can turn into an accident. The text message, voicemail, or certain radio station can hold on, it's not going anywhere!
It's smart to have a winter preparedness kit in your car, including (but not limited to) blankets, non-perishable food, jumper cables, flares, and sand. In case of an accident, it's important to stay with your car, call for help, run the vehicle occasionally for heat, make sure the exhaust can clear and avoid carbon monoxide poisoning, and keep moving to keep yourself a little warmer. Please be safe this season, as we'll provide the best forecasts we can and updates to let you know what's going on out there!