The snow that pummeled parts of the northeast during the long winter months was enough to remind drivers of the hazards associated with traveling on icy, wet or snow covered roads. But, when harsh weather hits, the Connecticut Department of Transportation (ConnDOT) says it's a matter of simply preparing and making good common sense decisions.
According to ConnDOT, following a few simple driving tips can go a long way to avoiding auto accidents on Connecticut roads, whether it's winter, spring, summer or fall.
- Prep the vehicle before getting behind the wheel. ConnDOT suggest all drivers make sure the car's hood, roof, and all windows are fully cleared before getting behind the wheel.
- Do not travel during rush hour. ConnDOT recommends drivers avoid traveling during peak traffic times as much as possible. This reduces the likelihood of vehicle collisions. Additionally, it provides road crews more room to work to clear the roads. ConnDOT also suggests employees ask their employers about whether flexible work hours are available during a storm.
- Drive only on main roads. Despite low visibility and treacherous road conditions, some drivers simply still feel the need to take to the roads. ConnDOT advises drivers only stick to the main roads or highways because highly traveled roadways are usually cleared and salted first. Drivers will most likely get stuck if they drive on residential or back roads because these roads usually are not plowed right away.
- Equip the car with a survival kit. All drivers should store emergency items in the vehicle at all times-particularly during the winter months. ConnDOT recommends drivers carry a flashlight, flares, sand or cat litter, and a shovel. Spare change for a phone call is also recommended if a driver's cell phone or mobile device loses power.
- Maintain the vehicle. Prior to a new season, keeping a vehicle in good working condition can significantly reduce the chances of getting into a car accident later on. Tuning the vehicle's engine, making sure windshield wipers and defoggers work well, checking the car's headlamps, tire treads, brakes, heater and other safety equipment are essential. ConnDOT also suggests drivers make sure the vehicle's windshield washer fluid is full and the gas tank is at least half full.
Radio stations all across the state of Connecticut are providing information on weather updates and road conditions. ConnDOT's Operations Center is also available. Drivers can call 1-800-443-6817 for information on state highway conditions.