Road Safety & the Holidays

 It’s getting to be that time of year when we begin to look forward to the Holidays. For North Georgia, we also have an increasing likelihood of snow or ice. From NSC (National Safety Council).

 Car travel has the highest fatality rate of any major form of transportation based on fatalities per passenger mile. 

Here are some nasty stats from 2017: 

 329 people died on New Year’s Day

 463 on Thanksgiving Day

 299 on Christmas Day. 

 Alcohol consumption is involved in 1/3 of these fatalities. 

So what do you do? 

 Prepare your car. Brakes, tires, windshield wipers etc. A link for more information: https://www.nsc.org/home-safety/tools-resources/seasonal-safety/winter/driving

 Get a good night’s sleep before you leave. 

 Leave early & anticipate heavy traffic 

 Watch out for distracted driving. Put up your cell phone. 

 Make sure everyone is buckled up. 

 No driving while you’ve been drinking. Get a designated driver if you need to. 

Here are some tips on how to avoid an accident: 

 Avoid using cruise control in icy or snowy road conditions.

 You’ve heard this before but steer in the direction of a skid, so when your wheels regain traction, you don’t have to overcorrect to stay in your lane

 Accelerate and decelerate slowly

 Increase following distance to 8 to 10 seconds 

 If possible, don’t stop when going uphill

 If visibility is limited due to a whiteout, pull off the road to a safe place and do not drive until conditions improve. 

 Avoid pulling off onto the shoulder unless it is an emergency. 

 Often visibility is limited in the winter, and other vehicles can’t see you. Headlights on, flashlights out. 

Keep an emergency preparedness kit with you. Here is some information from the NSC. 

https://www.nsc.org/home-safety/safety-topics/emergency-preparedness/car-kit 

 Every vehicle should have an emergency supply kit located in the trunk. 

Kits should be checked every six months, and expired items should be replaced to keep it up to date. 

Vehicle emergency supply kits should include:

  • A properly inflated spare tire, wheel wrench and tripod jack
  • Jumper cables
  • Tool kit and/or a multipurpose utility tool
  • Flashlight and extra batteries
  • Reflective triangles and brightly colored cloth to make your vehicle more visible
  • Compass
  • First aid kit with gauze, tape, bandages, antibiotic ointment, aspirin, a blanket, nonlatex gloves, scissors, hydrocortisone, thermometer, tweezers and instant cold compress
  • Nonperishable, high-energy foods, such as unsalted nuts, dried fruits and hard candy
  • Drinking water(Not sure how that is going to work in winter weather…)
  • Reflective vest in case you need to walk to get help
  • Car charger for your cell phone
  • Fire extinguisher
  • Duct tape
  • Rain poncho
  • Additional items for cold weather include a snow brush, shovel, windshield washer fluid, warm clothing, cat litter for traction and blankets

 It’s also a good idea to keep family and emergency phone numbers, including your auto insurance provider and a towing company, in your phone.

Sweet Wife based on her personal experience from a few years ago also suggests a warm winter coat, hat, gloves, shoes/boots for walking ( High heels don’t work in the ice/snow). FWIW some of the local retailers will stay open during ice storms. Thanks HD & Shame On You Red Bulls Eye store.

Take Care, Enjoy the Holidays and It’s the Happiest Time of Year. 

Chris


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