The snow is on its way to Atlanta, folks! At least, that’s what the meteorologists keep telling us.
Now, everybody knows that native Georgians don’t see much snow. Georgia drivers are often at a loss when it snows and roads ice over. According to FEMA, traffic accidents are the leading cause of death during winter storms.
Here are some Georgia Snow Driving Safety Tips to keep you and your family safe:
First of all, if you can avoid driving, then don’t drive! Try to stock up on all necessities (bread, milk, batteries, etc.) before the snow falls. The best way to avoid an accident is to stay off the roads.
If you must drive, check your tires before you start the engine. They should all have good treads and be properly inflated. Cold weather often causes a drop in air pressure inside your tires.
Most drivers in Georgia don’t have snow chains, but if you have them, use them.
Make sure you have at least a half tank of gas. You don’t want to run out of gas and get stuck on the side of the road during a winter storm. Make sure that your heater and wiper blades work, too!
Check the road reports on TV or radio before you leave. Some roads may be closed or congested.
Prepare a snow kit for your car. Here’s what you’ll need: ice scraper, broom, small shovel, bag of sand or kitty litter (for traction, in case you get stuck), blankets, flashlight, flares, first aid kit, jumper cables, “help” sign, cell phone and cell phone charger.
If you happen to break down or get stuck in the snow, stay inside your car and try to keep warm. Call for help or put a “help” sign in the window. Be sure to keep the exhaust pipe clear of snow and ice to avoid carbon monoxide poisoning. If you have limited gas, run the car for about 15 minutes every hour to keep it from freezing over. Bundle up and try to stay warm. Move around and do simple exercise to increase body heat.
Do not speed! Give yourself plenty of time to make your trip. If you have to drive to work in the snow, your boss will understand if you’re late. (Hopefully!) Driving too fast is the main cause of accidents on icy roads. Take your time, and be extra careful going around turns and curves.
Be wary of “black ice” which often appears in shady areas. Slow down when driving through shaded areas and over bridges.
When behind the wheel, avoid sudden movements. Be gentle with the pedals and the steering wheel.
Keep a safe distance between your vehicle and others. You never know when a car may start sliding.
Be alert! Watch out for other vehicles and icy spots. Don’t take your eyes off the road. (Put those cell phones down while you’re driving!)
Again, the best way to avoid an accident is to stay off the road. If the roads ice over, take the day off work if you can. Plan some snow day activities, and try to relax and enjoy some time at home with the family.