Safe Winter Traveling is key where weather is unavoidable, especially in Wyoming. While winter can be beautiful, 70% of winter weather injuries are the result of vehicle accidents, according to the National Weather Service. This is why it is imperative to know your surroundings, how your vehicle handles in winter weather, and what to do in an emergency.
Check Road Conditions
Check road conditions before venturing out.
Wyoming weather changes fast and can occur without warning. Check road conditions and weather reports before deciding to go out. It is better to change travel plans and only get out when necessary than get caught or stranded in hazardous weather.
Following Distance Safety
Increase following distance, enough for plenty of time to stop.
Many accidents and collisions occur because of road conditions and cars not having enough time to stop. To be sure traveling is safe in the snow, distance yourself from other drivers about double on wet, snowy, and icy roads. Driving slowly is important to limit spin-outs or skidding. Be attentive to what other drivers in front of you are doing so you have time to react.
Accelerate and decelerate slowly and never use your cruise control. While you may be in a hurry, it takes longer to slow down on ice. To avoid skidding and regain traction, push the gas slowly and do not slam on brakes. Be sure to pay careful attention when slowing down and/or stopping. It is better to slow down and still be rolling than to completely stop. When the roads are icy, cruise control is very dangerous. While it is nice, it will keep you accelerating and your wheels spinning. With your foot off the pedal you will never feel if you begin to skid. For safety, it is better to drive manually so you have time to react.
Pull off to the shoulder if you feel uneasy or unsafe.
If conditions, such as a whiteout, occur and the situation feels unsafe, pull over to the side of the road or take the next exit. To avoid accidents, make yourself as visible as possible. Turn on the hazard lights, use all headlights, fog lights if you have them, and blinkers for signaling.
Travel with an extra blanket or warmers and stay inside your vehicle until help arrives. With local winter weather so unpredictable, blankets are essential to pack for your next winter trip in case of emergency. If you can’t turn on a heat source, blankets will keep in the heat until help arrives or the storm passes. Hand or feet warmers are a great source of warmth when traveling in the Wyoming cold. Keep hands and feet warm to avoid numbing or frostbite. It is much safer to just stay inside the vehicle and not be exposed to elements like cold temperatures, wind, and snow. If you do get stranded, and you can, be sure to run the vehicle and heating system every hour for 10 minutes. This allows the car to slowly warm up, providing enough heat to last an hour. Another way to gain warmth is to stretch and move around, allowing adequate blood flow.
Safe Winter Traveling: Use these tips for traveling safe in snow, but if you do need a tow, please call Select Towing and Recovery your Casper’s Roadside 24 hour towing service. 307-277-0713.