Winter is that time of the year where driving can be challenging and dangerous especially for extended travel. I have logged thousands of winter driving miles throughout the U.S. Preparation for safe winter travel is necessary to reach where you are going.
According to Huffington Post.com Los Angeles regarding the Tour Bus Crash: 8 Killed In Collision On Mountain Highway In Southern California it stated in “Yucaipa, Calif. — The bus full of tired tourists returning to Tijuana, Mexico, was slowly winding down a mountain road from the ski resort town of Big Bear when it suddenly picked up speed. The driver shouted to “call 911 – the brakes had failed”. The National Transportation Safety Board sent a team to the scene to help in the investigation, which will determine if mechanical failure or driver error was to blame. The driver, Norberto B. Perez, approximately 52, of San Ysidro, was injured but before going to the hospital told authorities the vehicle had brake problems. Authorities continue their investigation at the scene where at least eight people were killed and 38 people were injured after a tour bus carrying a group from Tijuana, Mexico crashed with two other vehicles just north of Yucaipa, Calif., Sunday, Feb. 3, 2013”. Even though this accident happened on a bus carrying passengers, drivers have the responsibility to make sure their passengers are safe.
The following travel tips can help you plan ahead when using your vehicle:
- Prepare and discuss travel survival plans with your family. Extreme cold causes poor judgment.
- Keep your car in good maintenance condition including checking brakes, properly inflated tires, working windshield wipers and washers.
- Equip your car with a survival kit to include first aid kit, flashlight with extra batteries, blanket, candy bars, water and a I Got To Go Container (If the roads are shutdown getting to the restrooms could be impossible).
- Check weather forecasts before starting out to avoid treacherous weather and road conditions.
- Travel only when necessary.
- Avoid traveling alone, especially when weather is threatening.
- Let someone at both ends of a trip know where you are going, the route, how you will travel, and the expected arrival time.
- Clean all snow from car windshield, rear and side windows and mirrors before starting out.
- Keep gas tank at least half-way to full when traveling.
- Turn back if conditions deteriorate and become dangerous. Continue on only if it is safer to so.
- Check your supplies, replace regularly and record purchase date.
Advance preparation for winter travel provides peace of mind to make it to your destination safely.
Copyrighted by Matthew J. Key from his forthcoming book "The Safety Corner".