With old man winter right around the corner, the Department of Labor urges the thousands of Missouri drivers to be prepared for treacherous driving conditions and to ALWAYS wear a seatbelt.
Often people prepare for the winter season by adding snow tires to their cars and putting sandbags in the trunks. These measures can improve driving but wearing seatbelt is the most important action drivers can take as they head out on the road. Buckling up should be part of their daily workplace safety routine, which starts before they even arrive at work.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that occupants are 45 percent more likely to survive a crash if they are wearing their safety belts correctly. Three out of four people who are ejected from a vehicle during a crash will die as a result. Seat belt usage saves an estimated 9,500 lives each year.
Winter Driving and Preparation Tips:
- Winterize your car by checking the ignition, cooling system, fuel system, battery, lights, tires, heater, brakes, wipers and defroster.
- Keep a winter storm kit in the car in case of an emergency, pack a flashlight, windshield scraper, extra clothing, snow boots, blankets, booster cables, sand, chains, and high calorie non-perishable snacks.
- If a winter storm tests your driving ability, pull over and seek shelter immediately.
- Allow plenty of time for travel in winter storms to prevent accidents by rushed driving.
- Let others know of your travel plans and estimated time of arrival.
- Drive defensively. If your car does not have anti-lock brakes, pump the brakes when trying to stop on snow or ice covered roads.
- Do not use cruise control or overdrive on icy roads.
- Turn your lights on when driving to increase your visibility to other motorists. Keep your lights and windshields clear.
- If ice/snow coats your car, try to remove as much of is as you can, don't just clear a hole in the windshield.
- Leave yourself plenty of room to stop. You should leave at least three times more space than usual between you and cars in front of you.
- Don't assume your vehicle can handle all weather conditions. Four-wheel and front-wheel drive vehicles can still have trouble on winter roads.