Stay Safe This Winter
Snow is lovely and can effectively make an old brick house look like it came straight from a Thomas Kinkade painting. However, the below freezing temperatures do not make for safe roads and sidewalks; every twist and turn may be a potential slippery situation that can cause serious personal injury. Whether you are walking or driving, it takes a high level of caution and defensive driving to prevent accidents. Try the following tips to keep yourself safe from broken bones or worse.
On The Road
- Use the loose-steering technique. When driving over ice on the road, shift to neutral and slowly guide the wheels back to their original position.
- Don’t rely on cruise control. Winter is not the best time to use cruise control, no matter how tempting it can be.
- Switch it off and make use of the gas pedal so you can control the car’s speed and your brakes better. You need to be able to make gentle brakes or else the wheels will lock at each stop and also to prevent skidding.
- Turn on your headlights even during daytime. When the sun is covered for most part of the day, headlights can help increase your visibility while driving and also your visibility to other drivers.
- Be aware of snowplows, salt trucks, and maintenance vehicles. These vehicles may hinder your visibility because of the space they take up on the road. Double your following distance to give yourself time to react in case of anything unexpected.
- Keep an emergency kit in the car. An accident may occur anytime so it is better to have an emergency kit ready just in case.
- Salt your walkways and driveways. You do not need to wait until after the snow has fallen. Do this beforehand especially when you hear a forecast of an incoming bad weather.
- Use handrails and mind your stance. Watch what you are stepping on and avoid icy patches. To help you balance your body better, keep a wide gait when walking.
- Prepare for power outages. As sure as Christmas comes, a number of winter storms arrive during this season so have your house emergency kit ready. Have at least one jug of water for each family member, nonperishable foods, blankets, flashlights, extra batteries, and a first-aid kit.
- Be careful when climbing a ladder. When it is absolutely necessary to use the ladder to decorate the house or to clean the gutter, make sure to place the ladder on solid ground. Designate someone to be your spotter in case you slip or fall.
- Keep the floors dry. When coming in with wet shoes, you may be spreading water all over the floor and make it slippery. Place rugs near the main door and have a spot to place the shoes. When cleaning, make sure to use a dry cloth and remove the wetness on the floor.