Tag Archives: winter weather

To Grandmother’s House We Go: Drive Safely Please!

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Over the river and through the woods to Grandmother’s house we go ….

Whatever your version of this song is, very few people are taking a horse and sleigh “over the river” anymore, and many would be taxing their horses’ abilities because they live so far away from family! Today’s reality is that with more than 93 million people traveling, which approaches a 2006 record, folks will have to be patient with each other. “AAA expects 84.4 million people to travel by car more than 50 miles from home at the height of the season,” which officially started last Saturday and lasts through Jan. 1, 2013, according to the USA Today article.

Nebraska and Iowa still have snow on the ground while recovering from last week’s blizzard. So the roads will be even more treacherous to drive in the next few days because of weather conditions. It always bears repeating that especially during the holidays, folks should take extra time, drive defensively, and watch out for the other driver. This blog post written by firm owner Rod Rehm last year includes tips on How to Stay Safe on Snowy Roads, which will definitely be useful for the current conditions.

But there is another group of dedicated people who I think holiday drivers take for granted and don’t always respect for the professionals they are: truckers. These two groups on Facebook, Land Line Magazine – The Official Publication of OOIDA, and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration both recently shared the following blog post from the United States Department of Transportation: It’s not a holiday for everyone; America’s freight never stops moving. A quote from Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administrator Anne Ferro from the blog post said it very well, I thought, and was exactly the concern on which I wanted to focus when I started writing today’s blog post.

“Let’s give these drivers back a gift we can all live with. When driving near a large truck, please keep out of their ‘no- zones,’ the areas alongside or behind a truck where the driver can’t see your car. Letting them see your vehicle will help all of us stay a little safer this holiday, and every day,” Ferro said.

And I would add that in addition to being a safer way to travel, it also is a way to be respectful of the good job that the vast majority of truckers do day in and day out to deliver their loads to us for our convenience and consumption. This is often at risk to themselves and their work also keeps them away from their families for weeks or months at a time.

So because we all want to get home safely to family, please be careful and take care traveling wherever you’re headed. And a special thank you to all, truckers, nurses, first responders and folks in other occupations who can’t be with their families because they are serving the public and keeping us safe. Have a great holiday season and safe 2013!

How To Stay Safe On Snowy Roads

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Follow these tips to stay safe on winter roads.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) recently launched a fantastic web page on how to stay safe if you have to work during or after a winter storm.

If the weather is poor, staying off the road is clearly the best thing to do. However, if you have to drive during a winter storm, here are some great tips OSHA offers on preparing your vehicle for dangerous weather.

Inspect your vehicle thoroughly.

  • Brakes: Make sure they provide balanced and even breaking. Check that the brake fluid is at the proper level.
  • Cooling System: Ensure the proper mixture of 50/50 antifreeze and water.
  • Electrical: Check the ignition and makes sure the battery is fully charged and that the connectors are clean. Check that the alternator belt is in good condition.
  • Engine: Inspect all engine systems.
  • Exhaust: Check the exhaust for leaks and that the clamps and hangers are snug.
  • Tires: Check for good tread depth and for signs of damage or uneven wear. Check inflation.
  • Visibility: Inspect exterior lights, defrosters, and wipers. Install winter wipers. _ Check your oil levels.

Bring a winter emergency kit including:

  • Blankets / sleeping bags
  • Cell phone
  • Windshield scaper
  • Snow brush
  • Flashlight with fresh batteries
  • Extra winter clothes
  • Shovel
  • Tow chain
  • Matches
  • Traction aids (sand or cat litter)
  • Emergency flares
  • Jumper cables
  • Snacks and water
  • Road maps

And keep at least a half tank of gas in your vehicle at all times!

OSHA’s page is a rich source of information and I highly recommend taking a look.