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Driver Safety


Winter Driving Tips


Winter driving requires lots of patience, practice and special techniques. To minimize the dangers associated with winter driving, the vehicle and the driver must be prepared in advance.

For the driver this means approaching winter driving with the right frame of mind-always drive at a speed that matches the prevailing visibility, traffic and road conditions. Listed below are other important tips to keep in mind.

  • Always wear seatbelts.
  • Remove ice and snow from windows, license plates and lights. Also be sure to clear snow from the vehicle's hood, roof and trunk.
  • Reduce your speed while driving. The posted speed limits are for dry, clear conditions only.
  • Watch for slick spots under bridges and on overpasses.
  • Keep your gas tank at least two-thirds full to prevent the vehicle's fuel line from freezing

Your assistance in making this information available to our local citizens is greatly appreciated. If you have additional questions, you may contact the Public Information Office at 903-798-3125/3130.


Pre-Trip Planning


To minimize the chances of a weather-related delay, plan ahead with safety in mind. Always be sure to check the forecast; if a winter storm is predicted for the area you will be driving in, think twice, or ask yourself if the trip is necessary.

Also make sure that the roads are clear by checking updated road condition reports that are available from local weather stations or from most State Highway Departments of Transportation.

Finally, always have an emergency car care kit that contains jumper cables, flares or reflectors, windshield washer fluid, a small shovel, an ice scraper, antifreeze, blankets; nonperishable food; and a first aid kit.


Starting Your Car


The owner's manual is the best source for information on how to start your vehicle in cold weather; however, here are some things to consider.

Be sure to turn off all accessories (radio, heater, lights etc.) before starting your car. This will maximize your battery's starting power. If your car has a fuel injection system, don't touch the accelerator pedal. For carbureted cars, depress the accelerator once before attempting to start the vehicle. Then, simply turn the key and hold it for a few seconds. Continuing to grind the starter can damage the mechanism and can cause too much fuel to enter the engine, which will cause it to not start.


Handling Roadside Emergencies


If your car doesn't make it to your destination, use the following tips to stay safe until help arrives:

If you have a cell phone, call 911. Pull as far off the road as possible. This helps to avoid getting hit by another vehicle.

Indicate trouble by opening the hood and turning on the vehicle's emergency flashers. Place a "Call Police" sign in the rear window.

Stay in the car. Avoid the temptation of accepting a ride with a stranger. Instead, if someone offers help, ask him or her to notify the police if you do not own a cell phone. Leave only with a marked police car or a state or city emergency vehicle.

Don't walk or hitchhike, both of which invite trouble-you could either get caught in a storm, or be forced in a dangerous situation involving strangers.

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