News Flash

Safety Strategies

Posted on: January 31, 2024

Winters in Wisconsin…

Car crash

During severe winter storms, consider postponing your trip until travel conditions improve. Just because you have a large pickup truck or brand-new vehicle, with four-wheel drive, doesn’t necessarily keep you safe from other drivers or severe roadway conditions. Be aware that stranded vehicles and motorists create additional hazards for snowplows, law enforcement and other emergency responders. When travel is necessary:

  • Let others know about your planned route and expected arrival time before you leave. Remember to fully charge your cell phone.
  • Clear snow and ice entirely from your vehicle’s windows, front and rear lights, roof and hood. Ensure everyone is buckled up.
  • Take it slow. Allow extra travel time and following distance. Most winter crashes are caused by drivers going too fast for the conditions. Remember, posted speed limits apply to ideal travel conditions.
  • Turn on your vehicle’s low-beam headlights. This helps you see what’s ahead, and helps other drivers see you. State law requires drivers to turn on their vehicle’s low-beam headlights any time that weather or other conditions make it difficult to see objects 500 feet ahead.
  • Sudden braking or steering can cause you to lose control of your vehicle. Use brakes early and carefully. With anti-lock-brakes (ABS), use firm, steady pressure and gently steer. Never use cruise control in wintry weather.
  • Don’t be overconfident in your four-wheel or all-wheel-drive vehicle. All vehicles require additional time and distance to stop in adverse conditions.
  • Remember that bridge decks/overpasses can be especially slippery.
  • Watch for snowplows. Stay at least 200 feet behind a working plow and use extra caution if you decide to pass. Plows often create a cloud of snow that can obscure visibility, and road conditions ahead of the plow are likely worse.
  • Be sure to check the roadway conditions before heading out. You can visit 511wi.gov to learn about roadway conditions and any reported incidents prior to your trip.
  • Lastly, make sure your vehicles are equipped with an emergency car kit to include blankets or extra clothing, candle/matches, first-aid kit, flashlight, jumper cables, sand or kitty litter, shovel, tow rope, windshield scraper, along with water and food. 

Be safe out there. 

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