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Roadside Safety

This winter, there are 5 roadside topics to consider before getting behind the wheel: Driving Safety, Roadside Safety, Roadside Repair, First Aid & Survival, and Planning ahead.


The best driving skills are the ones that prevent you from encountering a dangerous situation. Keep a good distance from the car in front of you. Drive with your headlights on. Stay off your cell phone. If you do find yourself in a white knuckle situation, your best reaction will be to stay calm.

This means planning ahead. When you are driving down the road, ask yourself what you would do in certain situations. What would you do if the next on coming car came into your lane? What if the car next to you swerved towards you? If you constantly have an ‘out’, your reaction will be faster and smoother.


If you find yourself broken down on the side of the road, make sure you are visible to other motorists. Use your hazard lights, but even better is if you carry a road flare or L.E.D. strobe. Always have a cell phone charger in your car. In the cases where you can’t call out, you will want to have a roadside safety kit. This will include: A blanket, water, snacks, flashlight, flare, lighter and snow chains with the proper tensions. Remember, if you break down in your car, it can turn into a survival situation. We can only survive 3 hours without shelter in harsh conditions. Stay with your car and use the blanket. We can survive 3 days without water. It is easy to keep a couple bottles in your trunk. The least important is food. We can survive 3 weeks without food.


In the case that you are broken down on the side of the road, it is always smart to have a roadside repair kit. These are cheap and can be purchased for $20-$80. They include essentials such as; jumper cables, fix-a-flat, and basic tools. Even if you don’t know how to use the tools, another motorist that stops to help may be able to.


Last, you should have a basic first aid kit in your car. You can be hours from help arriving and a first aid kit could be of great help for little cost and they take up very little space.


All of these things come down to being prepared for the worst. Always keep your gas tank above ¼ tank. Check your oil regularly. Check your tire pressure even more often then your oil! This includes checking the tire pressure on your spare tire. If you want to be prepared, practice changing your spare tire in your driveway. The side of the road is no place to find out your jack is broken. Also, it is wise to put your snow chains/cables on your car in the driveway to test fit them and to know you can do it effectively. The dark snowy shoulder of the highway is no place to learn how to do it.


Safe travels and happy motoring.



Matt Ryan

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