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How to drive in a Blizzard

By Woodbine1967     Feb 3, 2007 in Business
Safety Information about driving in a snowstorm or Blizzard.
It happens with stunning swiftness. You're driving on the highway in clear weather when all of a sudden it hits you from out of the blue - a blizzard, bringing whiteout conditions.
They occur when the horizon, the ground and the sky all blend together, enveloping you in a blanket of white, and making it impossible to see where you are or who's around you. And they can come without any notice.
What should you do if you get caught in one?
Your best bet is to get off the road as soon as possible. Turn around if you can or take the next exit and head towards the nearest city or rest area and wait it out. They usually don't last long.
If that's not an option, pull over to the side of the road if possible. But remember you won't be able to see anyone else - and they won't be able to see you, either.
Be sure to turn on all your lights to make yourself as visible as possible. A coloured bandana on your antenna may help make you more apparent to someone else, especially in the daylight.
And most importantly of all, slow down - to a crawl if necessary. Even if you hit someone at that speed, chances are the damage will be minor.
Another tip that you might not have thought of - put on a pair of sunglasses during the daytime hours. It may seem like a odd suggestion, but it can cut down on the glare and all that white and give you a chance to catch a glimpse of what's ahead of you.
Don't brake too hard. If you get into a skid in slippery conditions, you may wind up sliding right into someone you can't even see. And never use cruise control during bad weather. You need more control than it offers.
If you do get stranded somewhere during a blizzard, pull over but never get out of your car or wander off looking for help. If things are really bad you may not be able to locate it again, and no one else will be able to see you. The shelter of your vehicle can keep you warm.
Make sure to keep fresh air coming in, to avoid the dangers of carbon monoxide poisoning. And if possible check your tail pipe to ensure it's not blocked by snow.
Use your battery sparingly. You don't want it to run down leaving you even further stranded when things clear up.
And try not to fall asleep if the wait is a long one. In extreme cold, it can be a deadly decision.
Motorists should also have a winter emergency kit. The CAA suggests two different kinds, one for your trunk and one for your interior.
Trunk
Shovel
Traction mats
Compass
Warning light or road flares
Emergency food pack
Booster cables
Road maps
Matches and a "survival" candle in a deep can (to warm hands, heat a drink or use as an emergency light)
Sand, salt or kitty litter
Tow chain
Cloth or roll of paper towels
Extra clothing and footwear
Axe or hatchet
Ice scraper and brush
Fire extinguisher
Methyl hydrate (for fuel line and windshield de-icing)
Interior
These should fit under your seat or in the back.
Flashlight
First-aid kit
Blanket (special "survival" blankets are best)
Sterile gauze
Nonstick dressings
Box of adhesive bandages
Tape to secure dressings
2-3 triangular bandages
Tweezers
First aid manual
Scissors
Safety pins
Packaged alcohol
Wipes
Instant cold packs
Reflective rescue blanket
SOURCE: CAA
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