Contact: Officer Latisha Stroer, Public Information Officer
Columbia Police Department
WINTER WEATHER SAFETY TIPS
With the threat of wintery mix and snow, the best advice for driving in snow and ice is to not drive at all. If you have to drive do not go out until the snowplows have had a chance to remove snow and ice from the roadways. Once snow and ice have been removed from the roadways and you have to go out, make sure you give yourself extra time to get to your destination. Here are some safety tips:
Preparing your vehicle for winter weather:
1.) Check the battery
2.) Check your tires for tread wear and inflation
3.) Install windshield wiper blades, which have a rubber cover over the steel bow that won't freeze up or clog with ice.
4.) Clean off all windows and brush snow completely off your car as well as the headlights.
5.) Pack a winter travel kit to include: small shovel, jumper cables, a flashlight with extra batteries, kitty litter, tow strap, sleeping bag, boots, extra clothing, non-perishable food, bottle of water, bag of hard candy, ice scraper, first aid kit and flares.
6.) Fill up your gas tank
Driving on Ice/Snow:
1.) Drive slowly and leave three times more space than usual between you and another car in front of you.
2.) Turn on your headlights for visibility not only for you but for other drivers
3.) Use low gears especially on hills
4.) Be careful on bridges, exit ramps and overpasses. Roads less traveled will freeze first.
5.) Don't pass snow plows
6.) Don't rely too heavily on vehicle technology. Four wheel drive vehicles help your vehicle to drive but it doesn't help braking.
7.) Leave early to give yourself plenty of time to get to your destination. BE PATIENT.
8.) Use alternate routes to avoid curves and hills
9.) Please stay off of cellphones but have them with you if you need to call for help.
10.) If you are traveling out of town or state keep up to date on weather conditions and road closings
If you get stuck:
1.) Do not spin your tires
2.) Turn wheels side to side
3.) Lightly touch on gas to see if the vehicle will move at all
4.) Use a shovel to remove snow away from the vehicle and tires
5.) Pour kitty litter in front of wheels to get traction.
If you get stranded:
1.) Do not leave your vehicle unless you know where you are and how long it will take you to get there
2.) Attract attention with a colored cloth hanging from the antenna of the vehicle or mirror or if you have flares place them in front and behind your vehicle
3.) Make sure the exhaust pipe is clear of snow so that fumes do not go back into the cabin of the vehicle
4.) Keep one window slightly open because heavy snow/ice can seal the vehicle shut
5.) Eat hard candy to keep mouth moist.
For further safety tips, see Missouri Department of Transportation Winter Driving Tips and The Weather Channel Driver Safety Tips.
Call 1-888 ASK MODOT (888-275-6636) to receive road condition updates 24 hours a day.