Driving in winter in South Dakota opens you up to the risk of crashing due to ice and snow. It’s very important to prepare yourself and your vehicle for the cold months ahead.
The South Dakota Safety Council put together a helpful winter driving fact sheet with tips to help drivers stay safe. Here are several of the best tips offered and how they’ll help you avoid a crash.
- Prepare your vehicle for the season
The first thing you need to do is to prepare your vehicle for ice and snow. The colder weather may reduce tire pressure, so check your tires for inflation and tread. As you go through basic maintenance, check your vehicle’s lights, heating and cooling systems, fluid levels and wipers to make sure everything works properly.
- Get familiar with your weather radio
The next tip is to pay close attention to the weather radio before you head out. If the roads are clear now but a storm is coming in a few hours, you may want to take steps to get to your destination before the snow falls or put off the trip until after the storm has passed.
- Prepare for the potential for a crash or breakdown
Another important tip is to be prepared for crashing or breakdowns. In your vehicle, you should have several emergency items such as:
- Blankets and warm clothing
- Nonperishable food and water
- Road flares and a flashlight
- A basic first-aid kit
- Basic ice and snow tools, like shovels and scrapers
Having these tools on hand will make it easier to take care of yourself and others if an accident or breakdown occurs.
- Charge your cellphone
Finally, keep your cellphone charged. If you need to call for help, you will want to know that you have the charged phone needed to do so.
These are four tips to help you stay safe on the road this winter. If you get into a car crash, call 911 and do your best to help the victims and yourself until help arrives. After that, you can look into taking legal action.