9 Tips to Help You Drive Safely This Winter

A few years ago, my friend Carole Ann Reed – then a real estate agent – dropped by with a gift bag: A winter safety kit for the woman driver. It was packed with great advice for helping drivers get through the winter safely.

Credit: Thinkstock – kvkirillov

Packed with care into a compact, recyclable container, the Winter Driving Safety Kit included the following:

• A small, purse-sized flashlight for using keys at night.
• A pair of wool gloves to keep in the glove compartment.
• De Icer for stiff or frozen locks.
• A whistle for attracting attention

For the directionally-challenged like this writer, may I also suggestion a GPS.

The tidy package also included a card with winter driving safety tips:

1. Prepare your vehicle for winter driving and keep emergency kit in your car, especially a shovel.

2. Clean snow completely off the care and sweep tail lights and head lights.

3. Always drive on the top half of your tank in cold weather (Keep the tank move than half full.

4. When out walking, carry small bag of salt or non-clumping cat litter in your pocket to spread on icy patches.

5. Carry a cell phone and whistle when walking along.

6. Baby boomers are the most prone to falling on ice. The 45 to 63 year-old demographic accounts for about 30 per cent of ER visits – so make sure your winter footwear is sensible with low heels and think, non-slip tread sole. (Since anyone can slip on ice, I’d say this goes for everyone not just the over 40.

7. Wear sunglasses to protect your eyes from cold, wind and sun glare off snow.

8. Avoid frost bite and hypothermia by dressing inlayers and keeping your head, ears and hands covered. (i.e the extra pair of gloves in the glove compartment.)

9. Shoveling snow is strenuous activity stressful on the heart so try to shovel freshly fallen snow which is lighter. Also shovel small amounts at a time. Toss without twisting, as twisting (while shoveling) can be hand of the back. When it comes to shoveling, the only good news about that is that just 15 minutes of vigorous shoveling constitutes a moderate workout.

Safe driving this winter!