As the snow has started to pile up, SGI would like to remind the public of tips to drive safe on the roads. Tyler McMurchy, Manager of Media Relations for SGI shares, "The first and foremost we always advise people to adjust your speed for the road conditions and give yourself and the vehicle you are behind plenty of following distance. Those posted speed limits are for when conditions are ideal and on a day like today, we are not seeing a lot of ideal driving conditions so slow down increase your following distance."
"It's important to see and been seen so before you set out scrap your windows fully, make sure everything is defrosted, also clear the snow from your headlights, your tail lights, the roof and the hood of your vehicle so you're not creating that miny blizzard as your going down the road for those vehicles behind you. Once you hit the road start your trip slowly test your breaking and wheeling to get the feel of the road and then once you reach that level of comfort you can gradually increase your speed to whatever is appropriate for the road conditions."
Another tip he shares is to pack an emergency kit as you never know if you will end up stranded on the side of the road or in a ditch. McMurchy explains, "If for you end up stranded in winter, you'll want to have an emergency kit in your car. It can really help you wait out the weather till help arrives. The kit should include warm clothes, a shovel, blankets, a snow brush, ice scraper, booster cables, flashlight, flares, matches, food like chocolate, granola bars, dried fruit, nuts or soup mixes that can be added to water and a candle and a tin cup to melt snow for water."
"Keep in mind to stay alert when your approach intersections because that is where a lot of collisions can happen. Scan the road for traction and make sure you're on bare pavement and give yourself plenty of stopping distance as well. Watch for other vehicles that maybe having issues stopping and are skidding into the intersections, it's important to be careful around intersections. We want to remind everyone to give yourself a little extra time, as you don't want to feel rushed and pressured to drive too fast for the road conditions. If you happen to be running late, just understand that where ever you are going is still going to be there when you get there, so drive at a speed and in a manner that is appropriate for the weather."
Here is a list of more tips to stay safe this winter:
•If you do find your vehicle skidding, remain calm and take your foot off the accelerator. Don't lock the brakes. Instead, brake steadily, look where you want to go and steer in that direction.
•Try to avoid using cruise control on the highway during the winter. Icy sections on otherwise dry surfaces can cause your wheels to spin, compromising your control of the vehicle and putting you at risk of a collision.
•Leave at least a four-second following distance between your vehicle and the one in front of you. If the driver ahead of you suddenly brakes, you'll have the time and space needed to stop safely, ensuring that you and everyone on the road arrive at their destination safely.
•Consider investing in a set of winter tires, which provide improved traction on winter road surfaces.
There is even more information in the Winter Driving Section of the SGI Drivers Handbook.