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Rick Shapiro
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Stay Safe on the Roads This Winter

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It’s the time of year when the roads get icy, snowy, and treacherous. Though, it’s been rather balmy in Virginia Beach during the “winter” of 2015 (knock on wood). Nevertheless, this blog is meant to provide some essential safety tips and guidelines to travelers who may be headed to see family in Virginia Beach, Norfolk, Chesapeake, or any city in Hampton Roads. You need to be prepared since I-264, I-64, and other major roadways will likely be congested.

Universal road rules for ALL drivers:

  • Obey the speed limit
  • Don’t drink and drive
  • Avoid texting and other distractions while operating a vehicle

Here is a video with some important winter driving safety tips:

Technology is a great thing, utilized by most everyone nowadays, from cell phones to tablets to GPS devices. The downside though, is that many people rely solely on their mobile devices to provide directions to their destination. Inclement weather, however, can mean bad cell signals and loss cell phone use. For this reason, it is important to map your route in advance and familiarize yourself with the directions.

While traveling pay attention to your surroundings and the mile markers that are located on the side of the highway. Don’t wait until you are in the car and stressing behind the wheel or stressing as the passenger, on a busy road, to realize your device isn’t providing a signal or the directions you need.

Before embarking on a long road trip, have a professional look over your vehicle to check the lights, fluids and tires, etc. Have roadside assistance contact information on-hand.

Make sure the vehicle is equipped with emergency items including an extra blanket, cellphone charger, jumper cables, water, gloves, a flashlight and batteries. And, also a first aid kit.

Properly defrost your windshield so that you can increase visibility and see other vehicles.

If an emergency arises, such as an accident or flat tire, first and foremost get to a safe location. If possible, move to the right shoulder of the road. Do not block traffic lanes or get out of the vehicle. Emergency personnel can better assist you if they know your location which brings us back to noting landmarks and mile markers.

In closing, the takeaway message is this: pay attention to the road, limit distractions, prepare for emergencies and know your location. Stay safe!