As we embark on another winter in Missouri we at Richards' Collision decided to share with you the tips for staying safe during bad road conditions. MoDot's Winter Driving Tips share everything you need to know to weather any storm or condition.
In addition, as we prepare for traveling around the holidays we want to remind everyone to drive carefully, secure your seatbelts and take it slow. Last not least, drive sober. During the holidays it can be tempting for some to push the limits. See the Save MO Lives website and a snippet below from that site regarding the loss of life in MO to impaired driving last year.
Alcohol affects everyone differently. Influencing factors include food consumption, medication, health and psychological conditions. The best plan is to always designate a sober driver.
"The sobering fact is that impaired driving contributes to 22.5 percent of all Missouri traffic fatalities. In 2015, 192 people were killed, 655 seriously injured in crashes that involved at least one impaired driver.
Many drunk drivers are under the age of 21. From 2011-2014, there were 69 fatal crashes and 211 serious injury crashes involving an impaired driver under the age of 21. There were 85 people killed and 324 seriously injured in these crashes."
Driving on snowy or icy roads requires special attention to safety. Although it's impossible to have ideal road conditions 365 days a year, there are certain precautions you can take to make winter driving safer. Here are some tips and suggestions to help you get ready for the hazards of winter. And check the links at the bottom of this page for information on MoDOT Plowing Priorities and tips on shoveling your driveway.
Before the Trip
- Check out road conditions before you go. MoDOT's Traveler Information Map offers current views of road conditions and is available as an app for iPhones and Android phones.
- Call MoDOT's toll-free customer service center for current road condition information at 888-ASK-MODOT (888-275-6636). The Customer Service Center is staffed 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
- Winterize your car with fresh antifreeze, a good battery, a properly operating exhaust system and oil that will withstand the rigors of cold weather.
- Do a thorough pretrip inspection of your vehicle, paying special attention to your tires, brakes, windshield wipers and windshield wiper fluid.
Equip Your Vehicle With:
- A flashlight with extra batteries
- A first-aid kit
- Necessary medications
- Blankets and/or sleeping bags
- Extra mittens or gloves, socks, a warm cap and rain gear
- A small sack of sand to use for traction under your wheels
- A small shovel
- Booster cables
- Small tools - pliers, wrench, screwdriver
- A brightly colored cloth to use as a flag
- Nonperishable foods
- Bottled water
During the Trip
- If possible, postpone your travel until roads have been plowed, treated, and cleared. You don't want to slide off the road, and we don't want to plow around disabled vehicles.
- Slow down and adjust your speed to the conditions.
- Give snowplows plenty of room, and don't pass them.
- Always wear your seat belt.
- Remember that driving is most dangerous when temperatures are near 32 degrees.
- Watch for other vehicles having problems with road conditions.
- Keep mirrors, windows and lights clean; keep your lights on.
- Don't pass other vehicles on or near bridges.
- Keep your fuel tank at least half full.
- If you don't feel comfortable driving, pull off of the highway and park at the first safe place.
If You're Trapped in Your Car
- Stay in the vehicle. Don't leave to search for help. It's easy to become disoriented and lost in blowing and drifting snow.
- Display a trouble sign. Hang a brightly colored cloth on the antenna.
- Run the engine for about 10 minutes each hour. Run the heater and turn on the dome light only when the vehicle is running.
- Keep the exhaust pipe clear of snow, and open a window slightly for ventilation.
- Clap hands and move your arms and legs occasionally. Don't stay in one position for too long.
- If more than one person is in the car, take turns sleeping.
- Huddle together for warmth.
- Use newspapers, maps and even car mats for added insulation.
Learn more about MoDOT's winter operations, check major road conditions, and find out how to keep your driveway clear by following the links below.
Traveler Information Map
Go here to see a map of road conditions for major Missouri routes
Who's First? MoDOT's Plowing Priorities
How does MoDOT decide whose road gets plowed first?
How to Keep Your Driveway Clear
There is a right way to shovel your driveway
We at Richards' Collision Center wish you and your family a very Safe & Happy Thanksgiving!!