DP Volunteer Ambulance provides winter tips

By: 
Deer Park Volunteer Ambulance
Newsletter

We hope everyone had a festive and safe holiday season. Wishing all our crews, agency partners and community members a happy and prosperous New Year!

At DPVA, we are especially thankful to our community for continuing to support our efforts through donations of time, energy, PPE, and of course monetary support.

We all live in this winter wonderland with its beauty and wildlife and with that brings winter driving, snow shoveling and the winter sports season. These activities carry risks that can be minimized with a few reminders about being safe and keep us from ever meeting.

When it comes to winter driving, ensure your vehicle is in safe operating condition. Here are some tips from the National Safety Council and AAA.

Drive Safely in the Snow

Driving in the winter means changing the way you drive. Snow, sleet and ice can lead to hazardous road conditions. Prepare your vehicle for the upcoming winter season with these helpful tips.

Prepare Your Car for Winter

In addition to annual maintenance, here are some tips to winterize your car:

  • Test your battery; battery power drops as the temperature drops.
  • Make sure the cooling system is in good working order.
  • Have winter tires with a deeper, more flexible tread put on your car.
  • If using all-season tires, check the tread on your tires and replace if less than 2/32 of an inch.
  • Check the tire pressure; tire pressure drops as the temperature drops.
  • Check your wiper blades and replace if needed.
  • Add wiper fluid rated for -30 degrees.
  • Keep your gas tank at least half full to avoid gas line freeze.
  • Remember to keep your car’s emergency preparedness kit fully stocked, too.

Before You Start Out

  • Clean your car’s external camera lenses and side-view mirrors so you’ll be able to see what’s around you.
  • Remove dirt, ice and snow from sensors to allow the assistive-driving features like automatic emergency braking to work.
  • In frigid weather, you may want to warm up the car before you drive it.
  • To prevent carbon monoxide poisoning, never leave a vehicle running in your garage – even with the garage door up.
  • If the forecast looks iffy, wait out the storm if possible; if you must travel, share your travel plans and route with someone before you leave.

How to Avoid a Crash

AAA offers the following driving tips:

  • Avoid using cruise control in wintry conditions.
  • Steer in the direction of a skid, so when your wheels regain traction, you don’t have to overcorrect to stay in your lane.
  • Accelerate and decelerate slowly.
  • Increase following distance to eight to 10 seconds.
  • If possible, don’t stop when going uphill.
  • If visibility is severely limited due to a whiteout, pull off the road to a safe place and do not drive until conditions improve. Avoid pulling off onto the shoulder unless it is an absolute emergency. Limited visibility means other vehicles can’t see yours on the shoulder.

Know Your Car’s Capabilities

My Car Does What? is a national campaign to help educate drivers about the safety features built into vehicles. Search for your car and find out what safety features are already built-in.

Traction control is now standard on most new vehicles. This function helps your vehicle gain traction on snowy, icy or wet surfaces, particularly when accelerating from a stopped or slowed position, or when trying to make it up a slippery hill.

Anti-lock braking system (ABS) helps you steer in emergencies by restoring traction to your tires and is standard on most new vehicles as well. ABS may vibrate or pulse when engaged. This is normal. Continue to press and hold pressure to the brake pedal.

Remember, you are your car’s best safety feature. Take precautions to ensure you arrive safely at your destination. If you become stranded in an unfamiliar area, do not leave your car. Light flares in front and behind the car and make sure the exhaust pipe is not blocked by snow, mud or objects.

And Remember ~ Do Not Text and Drive.

Avoid Shoveling, Snowblowing Injuries

Shoveling snow or using a snowblower are among winter’s most grueling activities. High levels of activity in cold temperatures put many people at risk of heart attack, especially those that have inactive lifestyles.

Treat Frostbite Immediately

Use first aid to help someone who may have hypothermia or frostbite. Online and classroom courses are available at workplaces and other organizations through NSC. Download the NSC first aid app and you will be ready to give first aid for frostbite, hypothermia and many other emergencies.

Prevent Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

Carbon monoxide detectors save lives. Every year, over 400 people die, and 50,000 are treated for carbon monoxide poisoning.

The most common symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning are often described as “flu-like” – headache, dizziness, weakness, upset stomach, vomiting, chest pain and confusion.

Avoid Injuries While Enjoying the Winter Weather

Whether you are skiing, snowboarding, sledding or skating, take safety precautions like learning basic skills and using the appropriate gear for the sport.

Again, if you follow these winter safety tips, we should never meet.

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