News Releases

November 25, 2014

Vermonters Encouraged to Prepare for Winter Driving

A snowy forecast for Wednesday and Thursday could create challenges for those travelling on the Thanksgiving holiday. The National Weather Service has issued a Winter Storm Watch for Bennington and Windham counties and Winter Storm Watches for other areas of the state. Significant snowfall is possible in much of the state.

Drivers should monitor forecasts and adjust travel times accordingly based on conditions. Now and throughout the winter you should always build in extra travel time to allow for slower speeds in difficult conditions. When on the road you should also leave extra space between your vehicle and the vehicle in front of you to allow for longer breaking distances.

For weather and other alerts direct to your cell phone or e-mail box sign up for a free Vermont Alert account at http://vtalert.gov. You select how you wish to receive alerts and which alerts you want. For road conditions visit 511vt.com or call 511. 9-1-1 should be used for emergency situations only – NOT road conditions.

It’s important in Vermont to prepare for winter driving and the heightened risks on the road that are inherent to the time of year when we see snow and ice on the roads. The following is a list of Automobile Safety Tips and a list of items to be included in your Winter Emergency Car Kit.

AUTOMOBILE SAFETY TIPS

• Have a well-stocked Winter Emergency Car Kit (below).

• Plan long trips carefully, listening to the radio or NOAA Weather Radio for the latest weather forecasts and road conditions.

• Let others know your timetable and primary and alternate routes. Allow extra time. The first ½” of snow is sometimes the most slippery. Allow adequate braking distance from the car in front of you.

• Slow down. Many times hazards like black ice are not seen until it is too late. Remember bridges and overpasses can freeze up sooner than roadways.

• Be extra alert. Snowdrifts and snowbanks can hide children or other vehicles.

• Yield to snowplows giving them plenty of room to safely do their job. Be patient and follow at a safe distance.

• Travel during daylight hours, and if possible, take another person with you.

• If you do become stuck, ensure your exhaust pipe is free of obstructions like snow and able to vent. Dangerous Carbon Monoxide can incapacitate you if it is unable to vent out of the car.

• Keep your gas tank at least half-full at all times if possible.

• Install snow tires with adequate tread and pressure.

• Keep a windshield scraper and small broom for ice and snow removal. Keep all windows clear of snow and ice and keep your headlights and taillights clear, as well.

• Check your antifreeze, battery, windshield wipers and wiper fluid.

WINTER EMERGENCY CAR KIT

• Flashlight with extra batteries

• Windshield scraper & brush

• Charged cell phone/automobile charger

• Battery jumper cables

• Road flares/reflectors

• Basic first-aid kit

• Pocket knife

• Blankets or sleeping bags

• Extra clothes (include rain gear, boots, mittens, socks)

• Fire extinguisher

• Shovel

• Sand/road salt/cat litter for generating traction

• Tire chains or traction mats

• Basic tool kit (pliers, wrench, screwdriver)

• Tow rope

• Brightly colored cloth to utilize as a flag

• Road maps

LINKS FOR IMPORTANT WEATHER AND SAFETY INFORMATION:

• National Weather Service Albany (Forecast office for Bennington and Windham counties): http://www.erh.noaa.gov/er/aly/

• National Weather Service Burlington (Rest of Vermont): http://www.erh.noaa.gov/er/btv/

• Road conditions: www.511vt.com

• VT DEMHS on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/vermontemergencymanagement

• VT DEMHS on Twitter: @vemvt … https://twitter.com/vemvt

• Vermont 511 on Twitter: @511vt … https://twitter.com/511VT

• VTrans on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/VTrans/143848835653728

• Vermont State Police on Twitter: @VTStatePolice … https://twitter.com/VTStatePolice

• Vermont State Police on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/VermontStatePolice

• NWS Burlington: https://www.facebook.com/US.NationalWeatherService.Burlington.gov on Facebook or @NWSBurlington on Twitter

• NWS Albany: https://www.facebook.com/US.NationalWeatherService.Albany.gov on Facebook or @NWSAlbany on Twitter

Contact: Lt. Garry Scott, VT State Police: (802) 872-4056 or (802) 238-3042; Mark Bosma, VT Public Safety: (800) 347-0488 or (802) 839-6717

Source: Department of Public Safety
Last Updated at: November 25, 2014 16:45:05