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6 Tips for Safe Travel this Winter

safe travel this winter_snow plow

The winter of 2017 is off to a brutal start. Battling ice-covered roads makes travel challenging, but there are some things you can do to make it a little easier. Here are some tips to make sure you and your family are ready for winter travel this year.

1. Get a tune up – A breakdown in cold weather can mean headaches and exposure to potentially hazardous conditions. Take your car in for regular maintenance and address recommendations, including wipers and defrost capabilities. Tires should be in good condition – this is not an area to cut costs. Tires provide traction and keep you on the road in slick conditions.

2. Keep supplies in your car – We’ve all heard this before, but many Wisconsinites don’t do it. You never know when you will need the following, so it’s a good idea to keep the below items in your car all winter long.

  • Blankets
  • Warm clothes (boots, gloves and hat)
  • Hand/foot warmers
  • Car safety kit (includes jumper cables, stopped vehicle flares or reflectors and a flashlight)
  • Extra container of windshield wiper fluid
  • Ice/snow scraper
  • Protein bars or other non perishable food
  • Phone charger

3. Communicate – When traveling, make sure someone knows where you are going and when to expect you.

4. Plan your route – Know how long it will take you to travel, and allow extra time for inclement weather. Take the roads most likely to be clear. Preferably, avoid traveling altogether during bad weather. Visit the Wisconsin Department of Transportation website for an interactive map. The map shows which roads are in good condition and which roads need to be avoided.

5. Drive only if fit – If you are too tired, ill or have had alcohol, it is not a good idea to drive. Winter conditions may call for sharp reaction time, which may be reduced if you don’t feel 100 percent. If possible, rotate driving responsibility to keep the drivers fresh.

6. Drive cautiously  It should seem obvious, but many people don’t make adjustments to their driving habits for the winter. Allow extra room for stopping, drive at reduced speeds to account for conditions, don’t change lanes frequently and use your turn signals.

For most of the year, we simply jump in our cars and take off with little pre-planning. But as the temperatures drop, taking simple precautions can help protect you and your family from harm.

What are your best winter travel tips? Make sure to tell us below. 


1 comment

  1.  Hannah says:

    Great tips! I always keep extra blankets in my car. If our car breaks down in the middle of nowhere, I know that my family will be able to stay warm while waiting for help.

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