Winter Travel Safety Back »

Many youth and adults in South Dakota drive to and from school and work each day. Some of these trips are later in the evening. Being prepared for winter driving conditions could help save your life. Let’s look at some safety precautions that should be part of winter travel plans for youth and families.

Winterizing Your Car

Consider the following tips to prepare your car for winter:

  • Check Antifreeze levels.
  • Check Battery condition – Consider replacing if battery is weak.
  • Check Tire Condition and Air level / put on snow tires.
  • Check Condition of windshield Wipers and replace if worn.
  • Use a wintertime formula in your windshield washer.
  • Replace dirty filters.
  • Keep your gas tank near full.
  • Carry a set of jumper cables, and know how to use them.
  • Avoid traveling alone and let someone know your route and timetable.
  • Always carry and emergency kit with you.

Vehicle Emergency Kits

Some Suggested Emergency Kit contents to keep it your vehicle:

  • Shovel.
  • Windshield Scraper.
  • Flashlight with extra batteries.
  • Water – However may be frozen when needed.
  • Snack food.
  • Extra hats, coats and mittens.
  • Blankets.
  • Chains or rope.
  • Road Salt and sand or cat litter.
  • Emergency flares.
  • Bright colored flag or help signs.
  • First Aid kit.
  • Tool kit.
  • Compass.
  • Waterproof matches and a can to melt snow for water.
  • Candle.
  • Paper towels.

Other Considerations

In many instances the best thing you can do is to remain in your vehicle until help arrives. If you plan to run the vehicle for warmth, make sure to check the tail pipe to make sure that it is not clogged. A clogged tailpipe can cause carbon monoxide to build up in the vehicle. When traveling in the winter it is good to have a charged cell phone, with a charger in vehicle and/or a portable charger in case the vehicle is unable to charge the phone.


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