It's the first time in a few years that the region has been hit by not only significant snow falls, but back-to-back snowstorms as well.
Tredyffrin Police Superintendent Anthony Giaimo says there are things you can do to stay safe and help avoid accident in snow.
Safe Winter Driving Tipsfrom theTredyffrin Township Police Department
In the past few days, we have experienced an early taste of the upcoming winter season.
We at the police department have also seen an increase in “conditions related” crashes. Winter driving can pose some challenges, especially given unpredictable weather patterns and related driving conditions that result.
The Police Department would like to offers some suggestions to facilitate a safer winter driving season. In reviewing various winter driving safety programs throughout the United States, we found that OSHA provides one of the most comprehensive and sensible models.OSHA (Occupation Safety and Health Administration) , suggests that we follow a three stage model for safer winter driving which includes the concepts of preparation, protection and prevention.
1. Prepare –
Maintain Your Car: Check battery, tire tread, and windshield wipers, keep your windows clear, put no-freeze fluid in the washer reservoir, and check your antifreeze.
Have On Hand: Your identification (Driver’s License), vehicle registration, insurance information, flashlight, jumper cables, abrasive material (sand, kitty litter, even floor mats), shovel, snow brush and ice scraper, warning devices (like flares) and blankets. For long trips, add food (energy bars work great) and water, medication and cell phone (with car charger!). Also, extra warm clothes such as gloves, sweaters and jackets are great to store in the trunk for emergencies.
Stopped or Stalled? Stay with your car, do not over exert, put bright markers on antenna or windows and shine dome light, and, if you keep your car running, clear exhaust pipe and run it just enough to stay warm. Call and wait at your vehicle for Police or responding rescue workers. If you must leave your vehicle for safety concerns etc…. always leave a note indicating: your name, home address, contact number(s) and where you are going.
Plan Your Route: Allow plenty of time (check the weather and leave early if necessary), be familiar with the maps/ directions, and let others know your route and arrival time.
2. Protect Yourself and Your Passengers –
Buckle up and use child safety seats properly Never place a rear-facing infant seat in front of an air bag Children 12 and under are much safer in the back seat Focus on your driving. (Cell phones, pets etc… can create distractions)
3. Prevent Crashes –
Drugs and alcohol never mix with driving Slow down and increase distances between carsAlways be prepared to stop and keep increased stopping distances in mind Keep your eyes open (scan) for pedestrians walking in the road Avoid fatigue – Get plenty of rest before the trip, stop at least every three hours, and rotate drivers if possible If you are planning to drink, ALWAYS designate a sober driver OR stay put.
Additionally, the Tredyffrin Police Department suggests the following if you should be involved in an accident (crash) during the winter season:
- If you are involved in a “Crash” during a snow or ice event, dial 911 immediately. Do not wait or attempt to exit your vehicle to access any possible vehicle damage.
- If able, safely drive your vehicle from the travel portion of the roadway to a nearby safe shoulder to avoid any additional possible hazards and or accidents.
- Stay with your vehicle (inside with seat belt on) if safety permits and await the emergency responders.
- If you feel ill or are injured as a result of the accident be sure to provide the 911 dispatcher this detailed information. Relevant medical history (heart or diabetic conditions) are also highly relevant.
We wish everyone a great Holiday Season and Safe New Year!
Superintendent Anthony Giaimo