After what promises to be an exciting weekend with the Patriots in the Superbowl, many New Englanders are yet again, going to have to brace themselves for heavy snowfall on Monday morning. With the added layer of snowfall the streets (which are still in the midst of cleanup from last Tuesday’s storm), we at Altman & Altman would like to offer some reminder tips (sourced from Boston.com) on how to keep you and your family safe on the roads this winter.
1. Remove snow from your entire vehicle before hitting the roads
This is one of the most crucial steps every driver should take before hitting the roads after it snows.
Why is this so important? Put simply, Safety and visibility – and not just for you, but for the drivers behind you.
To make snow removal easier, pick up a snow broom. These handy tools will allow you to push heavy, wet snow off the roof and hood of your vehicle, all while avoiding scratching your car. Snow brooms are especially valuable for SUV or minivan owners, since many have telescopic handles that can extend upwards of 50-inches to gain access to those hard to reach places.
2. Don’t follow the speed limit
We’re all in a rush, but seriously, forget speed limits when the roads are wet and slippery! In the snow, driving is just about getting from Point A to Point B safely. Drive below the posted speed limit, and only drive as fast as it is safe to drive. If you’ve got traffic piling up behind you wanting to get past, pull over and let them pass. Winter is no time to cave to peer pressure to drive faster than you’re comfortable or capable. Better to get there eventually than not at all.
3. Check the condition and air pressure of your tires
If you or your mechanic haven’t checked your car’s tire tread and air pressure recently, do so immediately. If a tire’s tread is not adequate, they should be replaced as soon as possible. Note: There are tire-tread indicators in the tire that will tell you the tire is near end of life.
Next up, check your tire pressure. Your manufacturer’s recommended PSI (Pounds per Square Inch) for your tires is listed on a sticker inside the driver’s door and can also be located in the owner’s manual. For driving in the snow, experts recommend inflating about 3-5 PSI more than usual to increase tire stability and help increase your tires’ responsiveness. After the snowstorm is over, reduce the tire pressure to the originally recommended rating.
4. Don’t follow the car in front of you too closely
Leave twice the normal distance between you and the car you’re following to account for stopping adjustments. One of the most common mistakes people make while driving in snowy conditions is to follow too closely in traffic, which can lead to pileups. Don’t be the cause of a pileup (or a participant in one!) Keep your distance and keep two hands on the wheels at all times – your phone can wait!
5. Keep a winter emergency kit in your car
Make sure you never leave the house in wintry conditions without having a winter emergency kit in your backseat or trunk – You can choose to make one yourself or buy one at your local hardware store. Common elements include a flashlight, road flares, a first aid kit, extra clothes, gloves, blankets, chemical hand warmers, a fully charged spare cell phone, and a small shovel to help dig you out in case you get stuck.