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Staying safe on the road through winter weather

Tennessee doesn’t often experience the giant storms of Northern states, but when it does snow, it becomes a safety issue for all drivers. Fortunately, there are ways to stay safe on the road when there is ice and snow.

Below are a few safety tips for if you are caught on the road with snow this winter season.

Pack an emergency kit

In the event you are unable to continue driving in a snowstorm, it could be helpful to keep an emergency kit handy. Tennessee drivers may not need everything a motorist in a state like Minnesota might want to have handy, but there is some overlap.

A few items to consider adding to your own emergency kit are:

  • First Aid needs such as bandages, hand sanitizer, aspirin or other medical items
  • Road flares
  • Jumper cables
  • A flashlight and extra batteries
  • Duct tape
  • Cat litter (for traction on slick roads)
  • Ice scraper
  • Drinking water and non-perishable snacks
  • Blankets and warm clothing

Give yourself time

If you are planning to drive through snow, build delays into your trip. Leave early and drive slow to ensure you reach your destination safely.

Slowing down also means creating space between drivers. Increase the distance between yourself and other vehicles, as it takes more time to stop. Brake early and slowly to stay safe.

Watch for plows

Snow plows are crucial to keeping the roads safe during a storm, so give them room to do their job. Don’t tailgate behind a plow or stop too close behind them, and remember that their field of vision is not the same as yours.

If it seems dicey, stay at home

Drivers can call 511 to assess the current driving conditions, and if the weather seems too risky for driving, it may be best to stay at home. Know what the roads are like and your own driving capabilities before deciding to drive.

There is no surefire way to guarantee drivers won’t get into an accident, but by sticking to known tips for winter weather driving, we can all help increase the safety of everyone on the road.

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