The winter storm that struck our area last week reminded all of us how treacherous cold-weather driving can be. The Manheim Township Police Department has crafted the following checklist for motorists to prepare for the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday when tens of millions of drivers will take to the roadways to visit family and friends.
NOTE: THE MANHEIM TOWNSHIP POLICE DEPARTMENT WILL BE PERFORMING INCREASED TRAFFIC ENFORCEMENT DETAILS DURING THE UPCOMING DAYS TO ENSURE MOTORISTS ARE DRIVING CAREFULLY.
• Prepare your vehicle for long-distance travel: Check your wipers and fluids. Have your radiator and cooling system serviced. Simple maintenance can prevent many of the problems that strand motorists on the side of the road.
• Plan ahead: Before you get on a highway, know your exit by name and number, and watch the signs as you near the off-ramp. Drivers making unexpected lane changes to exit often cause accidents. Have access to GPS and paper maps.
• Do not cut in front of large trucks: Remember that trucks are heavier and take longer to make a complete stop, so avoid cutting quickly in front of them.
• Be aware of truck blind spots: When sharing the road with large trucks, be aware of their blind spots. If you can't see the truck driver in their mirrors, then the truck driver can't see you!
• Make use of and fully stock an emergency kit: Contents should include a battery-powered radio, flashlight, blanket, jumper cables, fire extinguisher, first aid kit, bottled water, non-perishable foods, maps, tire-repair kit, flares, and cell phone charger/s.
• Keep your eyes on the road: Distracted driving is a major cause of traffic crashes. Even just two seconds of distraction time doubles the chances of a crash. Use your cell phone when stopped and never text while driving.
• Leave early and avoid risks: Leave early so you won't be anxious about arriving late and to accommodate for potential delays. Road conditions may change due to inclement weather or traffic congestion.
• Avoid extreme weather conditions: Ice, hail, and snow make roads difficult to travel. Try to avoid driving through extreme weather conditions, and travel during daylight hours. Remember - wipers on / lights on!
• Remove ice and snow from your vehicle: Clear snow from your windows and roof to ensure that you have maximum visibility and are not creating a hazard for the other vehicles on the roadway. Don't allow ice and snow to create additional blind spots on your vehicle.
• Be aware of the vehicle in front of you: Leave extra room between you and the vehicle in front so you so you can avoid snow and ice blowing onto your windshield or maneuver around patches of ice.
• Slow down: With the extra highway congestion due to holiday travel, speeding becomes even more dangerous. Allow plenty of space cushion and reduce your speed.
• Buckle up: Safety belts greatly reduce the risk of fatal injury and are a simple way to increase your safety on the road.
MEDIA CONTACT: Sergeant Michael T. Piacentino, W: 717-569-6401 Ext: 1583, C: 717-340-2130, firstname.lastname@example.org
Manheim Township Police Department