Skip to main content

Driving in Difficult Conditions

Arabic I Burmese I Dari I French I Kirundi I Nepali I Pashto I Somali I Spanish

  • Have a well-stocked Winter Emergency Car Kit (below).

  • Keep your gas tank at least half-full.

  • Install good winter tires with adequate tread and pressure. 

  • Keep a windshield scraper and small broom for ice and snow removal. Keep all windows, taillights, and headlights clear of snow and ice.

  • Check your antifreeze, battery, windshield wipers and wiper fluid.

  • Plan trips carefully, check the latest weather forecasts for latest information and listen to the radio for updates as you travel.

  • Let others know your timetable and primary and alternate routes. Allow extra time to get to your destination.

  • Slow down, hazards like black ice are not seen until it is too late. Remember bridges and overpasses can freeze up sooner than roadways.

  • Be extra alert. Snowdrifts and snowbanks can hide children or other vehicles.

  • Yield to snowplows giving them plenty of room to safely do their job. Be patient and follow at a safe distance.

  • If you go off the road in a snowstorm remain in your vehicle where rescuers are more likely to find you. Turn off your engine and clear your exhaust pipe of snow or other obstructions if you can do so safely.

  • Run the engine and heater about 10 minutes each hour to keep warm. When the engine is running, crack open the window slightly for ventilation. Periodically clear snow from the exhaust pipe.

  • Drink fluids to avoid dehydration.

  • Be careful not to waste battery power. Balance electricity energy needs: the use of lights, heat, and radio.

  • After snow stops falling, raise the hood to indicate you need help.

Emergency Car Kit:

  • Flashlight with extra batteries
  • Charged cell phone/automobile charger
  • Basic first-aid kit
  • Pocket knife
  • Blankets or sleeping bags
  • Extra clothes (include rain gear, boots, mittens, socks)
  • High-calorie, non-perishable foods (dried fruits, nuts, canned food)
  • Windshield scraper & brush
  • Fire extinguisher
  • Shovel
  • Basic tool kit (pliers, wrench, screwdriver)
  • Tow rope
  • Battery jumper cables
  • Road flares/reflectors
  • Brightly colored cloth to utilize as a flag
  • Road maps