Each and every year, on average, over 6,000 people are killed and more than 480,000 are hurt due to weather-related vehicle collisions. If you need to drive in snow or cold conditions, the greatest thing that you may be equipped with is information. That is why Car Craft Auto Body would like the folks of St. Louis, Chesterfield, Oakville, and Bridgeton, MO to be prepared. Take it slow in the snow. Black ice can be hard to see. If the temperature is close to freezing, drive like you’re on ice since you may be on ice!
Prior to leaving the house, especially before a lengthier trip in the wintertime, make sure all fluid levels are full and ensure that the lights, heater, and windshield wipers in proper condition. Keep your gas tank near full to avoid ice in the tank and fuel lines. Avoid traveling alone. Let somebody know your timetable and primary and alternative routes. Then call 511 for the most recent traffic and road incidents, including construction and weather conditions and restrictions. Every state offers this Department of Transportation service. Call before you leave, it may change your plans!
Fully check and winterize your automobile before the winter season begins. Carry a winter storm survival kit that includes the following:
- Mobile phone, charger, batteries
- Blankets/sleeping bags
- Flashlight with extra batteries
- First aid kit
- High-calorie, non-perishable food
- Extra clothing to keep dry
- Large empty can to use as emergency toilet, tissues, and paper towels for hygienic purposes
- Small can and waterproof matches to melt snow for drinking water
- Sackful of sand or cat litter for traction
- Windshield scraper and brush
- Tool kit
- Tow rope
- Battery booster cables
- Water container
- Candle and matches to give light in a crisis and lifesaving heat.
- Compass and road maps, don’t depend on mobile devices with limited battery life.
If you need to drive through a storm, take the following precautions:
- Slow down! Even if the roads just look wet they could still be slick. More than 6,000 deaths occur on the roads each year because of weather conditions, to say nothing of the large volumes of auto body accidents that can cause dent damage to St. Louis, MO cars.
- Make sure your automobile is totally clear of ice or snow before commencing the trip. Flying snow from vehicles causes automobile accidents.
- Let someone know where you are going and what road you’ll take. If anything happens, this person will know where to begin a search.
- Try not to leave the house without a fully charged mobile phone and car charger and an emergency supplies pack in your vehicle.
- If you’re driving and start to skid, stay calm, ease your foot off the gas, and turn your wheels in the direction you want the front of the vehicle to go. If you have an anti-lock braking system (ABS), apply constant pressure to the brake pedal. Never pump the brakes on an ABS-equipped vehicle.
- If you are having difficulty seeing due to weather conditions, pull over to the side of the road and stop your vehicle until visibility gets better. Turn off your lights and utilize your parking break when stopped so that another vehicle will not wrongly follow your tail/brake lights and end up striking you.
If your vehicle gets stuck during a storm:
- Remain in the vehicle! If you leave the car, you are going to become disoriented rapidly in wind-driven snow and cold. Run the motor about 10 minutes every hour for heat. While running the motor, open the window a little for fresh air in order to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning. Clear snow from the exhaust pipe to avoid gas poisoning.
- Be obvious to rescuers. Switch on the dome light at night when running the engine. Tie a bright-colored cloth, ideally red, to your antenna or door. After snow stops falling, raise the hood to indicate you require assistance.
Do not underestimate the power of Mother Nature to leave you in a bad spot. Be ready to handle situations like extreme winter weather while you’re on the road. If you’d like to avoid an auto body accident in the St. Louis, MO area, you would do well to follow these tips. If you’re ever getting into a car crash, think about going to Car Craft Auto Body in St. Louis, MO.
Graphic and information courtesy of National Weather Service.