Winter weather in Kansas means snow and ice. To make this a safer winter for you and your family, please obey the following:
Before you leave home
- Make sure you have an emergency kit in your vehicle, in case you are stranded. This should include a blanket, a battery-operated radio, snacks, jumper cables and a small shovel;
- If possible, maintain a full tank of gas. Make sure anti-freeze levels are correct and the battery and ignition systems, heater and defrost, and windshield wipers are functioning properly.
When you are out on the road
- Avoid traveling, if possible. Seventy percent of winter storm-related deaths are related to traffic crashes on ice or snow covered roads;
- If you must go out, DO NOT pass a snow plow; this is extremely dangerous as snow plows are wider than one traffic lane. Avoid getting squeezed on the road (and avoid limited visibility caused by flying snow and ice) by not passing snow plows;
- Slow down and allow more stopping distance between cars. It takes three to 12 times more distance to stop on icy or snowy roads. Avoid making last-minute decisions while driving;
- Do not be distracted by electronic equipment (cell phones, Ipods, etc.) Driving is the primary responsibility; anything that takes away from that responsibility increases the chance of an accident.
- Stay at least three to four car lengths behind spreader trucks to avoid windshield damage and to allow for adequate stopping distance. Spreader trucks have spinners that distribute traction materials with pre-wetting salt solutions across two lanes of traffic. The trucks weigh up to 54,000 pounds when loaded and move slowly;
- If you can, use alternative transportation during snow storms to help reduce the number of vehicles on the roadways. This gives snow plows and spreader trucks more room to operate.
Outside, at your home
- Shovel your sidewalks as soon as practical after the storm stops; be careful of overexerting yourself. Also, have some rock salt on hand to remove ice.