Winter Driving Tips

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Phil Thompson Properties Tenants and Friends,

Please be aware that winter weather is continuing through at least Wednesday. We are expected to have snow and ice in the mornings but this should melt by the afternoon.
Temperatures should not be severe but please continue to monitor your plumbing for any problems. On colder nights, leave doors open below sinks, allow faucets to run slowly and keep foundation vents covered. A little prevention goes a LONG WAY! 

With our morning commutes being effected by snow and ice here are a few common sense tips if you have to be on the road.

1: Don’t. If you don’t need to go out, don’t. Why risk it?

2: Visibility. Okay, so you have to get on the road, Give yourself time to warm up the car and clear your windows of any ice. Make sure you have good wipers and anti-freeze window washer fluid. When you drive behind cars on snowy roads you will get dirty windshields as the car ahead of you throws up dirty slush which can reduce your visibility greatly.

3 Traction: Check your tire tread. If you have older tires and drive on snowy icy roads you are really taking a risk. Even new tires require careful driving to avoid accidents, and on icy roads even the best of tires are useless.

4: Preparation: For any cold weather driving make sure you have clothing (coat hat gloves boots) which can keep you warm, or possibly someone in need. A small folding shovel and ice scraper fit easily in your trunk or behind a seat, have some healthy snacks and a ‘space blanket’  for extra protection. Make sure your cellphone is fully charged and if you will be on roads that don’t have much traffic, let a friend know of your travel plans so that if you don’t show up in a reasonable time they’ll know where to look for you.

5: Slow and Steady. Don’t plan on driving the posted speed limits in snowy conditions. Give yourself some extra time to make appointments. Even if other drivers are going the speed limit, if there is snow, ice or slush on the road SLOW DOWN! On curvy and hilly roads this is especially important. Don’t do any sudden movements, only apply easy pressure to accelerate, brake or steer. Take your time and avoid running into a ditch or sliding into another vehicle. A good habit is to test the traction on the road at the start of your trip. When you accelerate from your first stop pay attention to any slippage you may feel. When you come to your first stop, slow down early and tap your brakes with increasing force to determine if there is ice which will prevent you from stopping quickly if you need to. Do this a few times as road conditions can vary widely depending on amount of traffic and temperature changes along your route.

6:Slip n Slide: If you do start to slide, take your foot off the gas and DON”T brake. Doing either of these will cause your slide to get worse. Stay Calm, steer  toward the direction you want to be heading in. As you coast you will slow down and regain traction, unless you are on a bad patch of ice. If you are going down hill GO SLOW. Icy roads which are hilly should be avoided. Also, be aware than bridges and overpasses will be icier than other roads.

7: Defense is the best Offense. Remember, other drivers my not be as experienced in driving in snow, or they may be distracted. Give yourself extra room between you and the car ahead. If you have someone tailgating you also need to factor them into a possible situation where you may have to stop quickly.

8: Practice. We don’t get much snow or ice here in Middle TN but if possible, find a vacant parking lot when there is snow and practice driving in it. If you have a teenager who is new to driving, get them out there and have them experience what it is to have a slippery road surface. Better to slip and slide with nothing to run into than risk accident or injury on the road.

Here in Middle Tennessee we don’t get much opportunity to drive in snow and ice, so if you don’t have to, don’t. Stay home and enjoy the white scenery.  But if you do, be careful and use your common sense.

Phil Thompson Properties, Dickson TN

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