Winter Driving Tips for Kansas Residents or Travelers

/ / Car Accidents, Safety Tips
Car driving on Kansas winter road in snowy conditions.

Driving in the winter can be risky, particularly for drivers who haven’t driven much recently at the beginning of the season. After a lengthy spring and summer, it is easy to forget how to drive on slick roads. Monitoring the weather, limiting traveling when essential, reducing your speed, and driving conservatively are all things that are common sense.

Let’s have a look at some of the ways you can add safety to your winter drive in Kansas:

Make Sure Your Vehicle Is Prepared

First things first, get your vehicle ready. Make sure that all the fluids are checked, and make sure that the radiator is prepared for the winter, that the gas tank is over half full, and that there is an adequate supply of windshield cleaning fluid. Examine the condition of the brake system, as well as the belts and hoses. Check the exhaust system because even the smallest of leaks can allow dangerous levels of carbon monoxide to enter the cabin of the vehicle. Make sure the treads on your tires have enough traction, and if your windshield wiper blades aren’t doing their job, replace them.

Snow And Winter Road Survival Kit

Keep a survival kit with at least the following things in it:

  • First Aid Kit
  • Warm Clothing
  • Blankets
  • Ice Scraper and Shovel
  • Flashlights
  • Non-perishable Food
  • Jumper cables
  • Rope or Chain

Keep Safe While Driving in Winter with These Techniques

  • Allow more time in case there are delays or slower speeds on the road.
  • Buckle up and make sure your kids are safe in their car seats.
  • Put more distance between your car and the car in front of you. When it’s icy or snowy, it takes a lot longer to stop.
  • Slow down and speed up slowly. On ice and snow, the wheels are less likely to spin if you put less pressure on the gas pedal. If your car has an anti-lock braking system (ABS), you need to know how to use it. Read the owner’s manual or talk to a dealer for more information, and practice using it correctly.
  • Turn slowly and gradually, especially in areas with a lot of traffic.
  • It’s very important to be seen. You must be able to see out of the car, and other drivers must also be able to see your car. Clear all the windows, mirrors, and lights of frost and snow. Use your headlights when you need to.
  • If your car loses traction and starts to slide, steer into the slide, or in the direction you would like to go. As the car starts to go straight again, you can expect a second skid in the opposite direction.
  • Do not drink if you plan to drive. Designate a driver or call a cab. Tell the police about drivers who are too drunk to drive.
  • Keep an eye out for deer, especially at dawn and dusk.

What To Do When Stuck in A Winter Storm

  • Try not to panic. Always work slowly to keep from overworking yourself.
  • Even small amounts of snow that you must shovel can cause a heart attack.
  • Stay in your car. Don’t walk around trying to find help.
  • Remember your car is the best way to stay dry in bad weather and it is more likely that highway maintenance crews or police will find you if you stay in your car and don’t move.
  • Keep the air moving. Carbon monoxide can build up in a car with a tight seal especially one that is blocked by snow that is blowing or drifting.
  • Run the motor as little as possible and only open the downwind window so that there is enough airflow.
  • Keep moving. From time to time, clap your hands and move your arms and legs quickly, increase blood flow, ease muscle tension, and helps keep you awake.
  • Don’t let everyone who is in the car sleep at the same time.

If you do find yourself stranded in winter weather, you can call for help by contacting Kansas Highway Patrol at *KTA (582) or *HP (47).