A few key steps will help everyone travel safely during snowy weather over slick roads. Preparation is a key. Create a winter weather survival kit for your car. Include an emergency first aid kit, an ice scraper, a shovel, a small bag of sand or abrasive material, a flashlight with batteries, a portable radio, extra clothes, blankets, bottled water, and non-perishable food.
Make sure to have your cell phone fully charged before leaving and have the care full of gas or, at least, above half a tank.
Nebraska Department of Roads Director Randy Peters says if you get stranded, get off the roadway.
“You have to protect yourself from the other drivers,” according to Peters. “So, if at all possible, get your vehicle off to the shoulder if you’re having trouble with traction.”
Nebraska State Patrol Colonel Dave Sankey agrees, saying stranded motorists should stay with their vehicle and not wander into the roadway.
“Try to get ahold of an emergency helpline, whether it’s us at star-55 or 9-1-1, try to get ahold of some emergency folks and as soon as we can, we’ll get out there and try and get those folks to safety,” Sankey says.
Sankey urges Nebraska motorists to always wear their seat belts, drive for the conditions, never use cruise control on slick streets, increase following distance, and drive with headlights on. He says it’s a good idea to let others know where you are driving, your planned route and your estimated time of arrival.
You can run the car for warmth if stranded, but only a few minutes each hour. Crack a window to keep carbon monoxide from building up.
Click here to go to the Nebraska Department of Roads traveler information website.
Click here for the Nebraska Department of Roads tips for winter driving.
AUDIO: Brent Martin reports [:50]