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~ Trucking - Winter Driving #3 ~

* Transportation Safety Training *


Winter Weather Safe Driving Tips


To establish traction and avoid skids, start out slowly. If your wheels start spinning, let up on the accelerator until your vehicle
moves forward. Continue to drive at a steady pace. Accelerate upon approaching a hill. This will provide additional momentum
that will help you climb the hill. With a front wheel drive vehicle, you are being pulled through the snow. On an uphill slope, the
weight of the vehicle shifts slightly to the rear wheels. There will be less weight over the wheels which provide power
and increase the tendency to slip. You can overcome this by maintaining a steady speed.

If you get stuck:

1.Shovel the snow from in front and back of all four wheels, and from under the vehicle.

2.Spread some sand or kitty litter in front and in back of your driving wheels (or use traction mats if you have them).

3.If the snow is not deep, turn the front wheels back and forth to push snow away from the tires. Try to ease out without
spinning the wheels. Spinning causes tires to heat up, thus digging you into a deeper rut.

4.Try rocking the vehicle out of the rut by shifting between forward and reverse gears. Be sure to check your owner's
manual for warnings on rocking.

If you are stuck and the road ahead is not clear, it is blowing and drifting snow, and there is no shelter in sight, you are stranded.
- - Should you become stranded in a snowstorm, do not leave your vehicle unless there is shelter in sight.
- - You are much more likely to be found by rescue and highway crews if you stay with your vehicle.
- - -
Use your winter emergency items.

5.Check the exhaust periodically to make sure it is free of snow, especially if the motor is idling.

6. Avoid running the engine more than a few minutes at any given time, and always keep a window slightly open when the engine
is running.

7. Several layers of thin clothing will keep you warmer than one heavy layer. Wrap up in a blanket or sleeping bag. To keep the
warmest, cover your head, neck, hands, and feet as well as the body.

8. Be patient! Don't panic! Highway Dept. maintenance crews will be working to clear snow from the highways and to look
for stranded motorists.

It is recommended that the following items
be kept in your vehicle during the winter months:

An ice scraper and brush
Blanket or sleeping bag
First aid kit
Sand, gravel, kitty litter( Kitty litter works the best )
Ice scraper, snow brush
Flashlight with extra batteries
Matches / lighter, candle
Food -- nonperishable items
Booster cables
Tire chains

* Plan It - Don't Just Slip into Safety *

We welcome comments about this article, and your requests for future topics.

    If you have a specific topic you would like to see covered here or that you may need for your company, please send an Email to our Tail Gate Safety Topics editor, Dave Miller at or to Thanks!


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Copyright © 2003 by David E. Miller

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