Roadside Safety Tips for Winter Driving in the Four States
Posted on December 15, 2022 by Rick Griffith
A 2021 study ranked Missouri the 13th most dangerous state for winter driving. That makes the topic of safe winter driving especially important this holiday season.
Although ice and snow may seem like the worst possible road condition for winter weather driving, most car fatalities occur on snow-covered and slushy roads, which accounted for 28 crash fatalities in Missouri in 2018.
For drivers here in the four states, snow and sleet are possible in our region. So it’s essential to prep your car in case of an accident or an unanticipated emergency.
Basic Driving Tips
The biggest tip we’ve all heard is to slow down when driving in icy road conditions. That’s because there were an estimated 119,000 police reports involving winter driving conditions.
For this reason, here are a few reminders on what you should do to stay safe during this winter driving season. Whether you’re involved in a single-car accident or multi-vehicle pile-up that has left your vehicle stalled, stuck, or undrivable, consider these your top priorities.
- Winter roadside safety
- Car prep
- Accident prevention
- Outside conditions Around Your Vehicle
Winter Roadside Safety
In an emergency involving a vehicle during the winter, you must stay in your car. Avoid walking to the nearest town, store, or home, especially if the outside temperatures are 60 degrees Fahrenheit (F) or lower.
That’s because the human body can reach a state of hypothermia when it begins to lose heat quicker than it can produce heat. A better explanation is the average body temperature for people is 98.6 degrees F; hypothermia starts at 95 degrees F. So it doesn’t take much to become hypothermic.
Without the proper winter weather gear, hypothermia is a real danger during the winter months. Once the hypothermic state begins, the human heart, organs, and nervous system stop functioning correctly. Therefore, your best option is to stay with your vehicle until help arrives.
Your next step is key to emergency preparedness for you and the passengers inside the car by packing your vehicle with the items listed below.
- Emergency blanket(s)
- A sleeping bag(s) with a rating below zero
- Dry clothes and perhaps thermal underwear
- Winter boots, if you don’t plan on wearing any
- Spare hats, gloves, and socks
- Water and protein bars
After packing in preservation for yourself and your passengers, you must consider how to warn other drivers about your vehicle. To alert other drivers your car has run off the road or is a traffic hazard, be sure to carry one of these in your vehicle this winter:
- Emergency roadside flares
- Reflective devices
- Glow sticks
Outside Conditions Around the Vehicle
Finally, you need to be able to get out of the vehicle to clear snow away from the exhaust pipe. If your engine can run, do so periodically. These steps will prevent carbon monoxide from building inside the vehicle and allow you to warm the interior for a short time.
Buying a Safe, Reliable Car
If you are looking to buy used, Rick Griffith, the owner of Car Credit, says, “make sure the vehicle is safe to drive, whether you’re buying it from a dealer or an individual.” Rick and his team commit to “extensive reconditioning on every used car they sell to meet all safety and reliability requirements.”
It is central to their business focus to ensure each vehicle at the dealership “drives off safely and reliably, regardless of the price on our vehicles,” says Griffith.
Be sure to ask your mechanic to assess a used car before buying. It’s the difference between safety and reliability. To speed up your car buying experience, begin by reviewing Car Credit’s current online inventory and complete their online credit application today!
The team at Car Credit wants to make your car buying experience efficient and fast. After completing your online credit application, a member of the Car Credit team will contact you to answer questions and schedule a time for you to test drive a car and finalize the process.
If you have any questions in advance, you are always welcome to call!