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The road to safety

Winter Weather Travel TipsThis season, if you’re going over the river and through the woods – or even across town – a little bit of preparation can save you a lot of serious trouble. Dan Hudson, emergency medical services liaison at The University of Kansas Hospital, offers some common-sense advice for your winter weather travel. 

Of course, you should make sure your car is tuned up and gassed up. You should also make sure you always have adequate levels of antifreeze and windshield-wiper fluid. 

“Your best bet is to always expect the unexpected,” said Hudson. “The biggest mistake people make is simply not being prepared.” 

Keep these supplies in your car:

  • First-aid kit
  • Phone charger for your car
  • Flares
  • Working flashlight and extra batteries
  • Scissors, rope and bungee cords
  • Reflective triangles and brightly colored cloth
If you’re driving during the winter, add these items:

  • Shovel
  • Tool kit, including pliers, screwdriver, wrench, duct tape and pocketknife
  • Jumper cables
  • Tow and tire chains
  • Bag of salt or kitty litter to provide traction
  • Heavy mittens, socks, hats and blankets
If the worst happens and you become stranded in the middle of a storm, keep this advice in mind:
  • Don’t walk away from your car unless you know exactly where you are and how far it is for help.
  • Hang a brightly colored cloth from your antenna.
  • Light two flares and place one at each end of your car.
  • Keep at least one window slightly open. Heavy snow and ice can encase your car. 
  • Make sure your car’s tailpipe remains unblocked. Then run the engine and heater for about 10 minutes every hour or so, depending upon the amount of gas in your tank.
“Wherever you travel, program the number of that state’s highway patrol into your phone,” advised Hudson. “They’re able to coordinate responses in all parts of each state.”