KANSAS CITY, Kan. -- If you absolutely have to travel during this week's storm, the Kansas Highway Patrol has released helpful tips to help keep you safe.
Check your car's fluids, making sure the radiator is winterized, the gas tank is more than half-full and plenty of windshield washer fluid. Also check belts, hoses and your brakes for "excessive" wear.
Check your tires for traction and replace windshield wiper blades if they're ineffective.
Inside your car, you should have the follow as part of your emergency kit:
- · An ice scraper and shovel
- · Jumper cables
- · Flashlights
- · Sand or kitty litter for traction
- · Extra blankets or clothing
- · Non-perishable food
- · A first aid kit
- · Matches and candles or flares
- · Tow rope or chain
If you are stranded, stay in your car, keep fresh air circulating through a downwind window, run the motor sparingly, turn on the dome light, and stimulate circulation by moving your arms and legs.
While on the road, remember some of these helpful tips:
- · Allow extra time for delays and slower traffic speeds.
- · Buckle up and properly secure children in safety seats.
- · Increase the distance between your vehicle and the vehicle ahead of you. Ice and snow significantly increase your stopping distance.
- · Accelerate and brake gently. A light foot on the gas is less likely to make wheels spin on ice and snow. Braking is best accomplished by pumping the pedal. If your vehicle has an anti-lock braking system (ABS), it is very important that you understand how to use it. Read the owner's manual or check with a dealership for more information, and practice using it correctly.
- · Make turns slowly and gradually, especially in heavily traveled areas (e.g. intersections that may be icy from snow that melted and refroze).
- · Visibility is very important. You must be able to see out, and other drivers must be able to see your vehicle. Clean frost and snow off all windows, mirrors, and lights. Use headlights as necessary.
- · If your car loses traction and begins to slide, steer into the swerve, or in the direction you want to go. Anticipate a second skid in the opposite direction as the car straightens out.
- · If you plan to drive, do not drink. Designate a driver or call a cab. Report impaired drivers to a law enforcement agency.
- · Watch for deer, especially near dusk and dawn.