Many citizens of California are getting ready for cross country trips this weekend as they head out to spend Christmas and New Year’s Eve with family members. If you fall into this category, then there’s always the chance that you could come across some of the dangerous weather the winter can create. While driving in such circumstances, you have to be able to enact techniques that can protect you and your family from harm, and thankfully, the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency has related advice on doing just that in a new report.
We’ve previously covered the types of preparations that need to go into the planning of any winter road trip (carrying out preventative maintenance, loading up with the proper supplies in case of an emergency, etc.), so today we’re focusing more on what you can actually do to prevent tragedies while you’re in transit on the road.
If you live in Los Angeles, then there’s a chance you may not be used to sharing the roads with snowplows and the like. When you come upon these vehicles, you want to keep an ample distance. Realize that the drivers often have diminished vision, and they may not be able to see you if you’re right behind or next to them. Plus, the snow they’re moving to either side could wind up impeding your own vision. It’s best to just take your time when sharing the road with these vehicles.
When you’re weaving through a neighborhood, you have to also understand that children may be out playing. Cars parked on the side of the road or large drifts of snow created by snow plows may obscure your ability to see these kids. Keep your speed in check, and do not submit to distractions in the form of cellphones or anything else that could take your eyes from the road and those who may be attempting to cross it.
If at any point you find yourself getting stuck in the middle of a blizzard, you can protect yourself from harm by staying inside of the automobile. However, you can’t simply run the engine the entire time you’re waiting for emergency assistance to arrive. Instead, let the engine run enough to keep the vehicle warm without draining power, perhaps ten minutes per hour. When you do this, protect yourself from carbon monoxide buildup by clearing any snow that may be accumulating around the tailpipe. You also want the window down slightly so that you ensure you’re getting fresh air.