Safe Winter Driving Guidelines Released by the OSHA Training Center at Chabot-Las Positas Community College District

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Drivers Urged to Prepare for Winter Travel by Following Safety Precautions to Reduce Hazards and Prevent Accidents

Cari Elofson, Assistant Director

Cari Elofson, Assistant Director

Being prepared and taking extra precautions can make driving in winter weather safer and help motorists deal with changing conditions and potential emergencies.

The OSHA Training Center at Chabot-Las Positas Community College District, the only authorized OSHA Training Institute Education Center in Northern California, is urging drivers to help prevent motor vehicle injuries by following the Three P’s of Safe Winter Driving: Preparation, Protection and Prevention. OSHA, in conjunction with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), has developed the Three P’s to highlight important steps drivers can take to reduce the risks associated with winter driving.

“Winter driving can be extremely hazardous, especially during wet, windy, icy or snowy weather conditions,” said Cari Elofson, Assistant Director of the OSHA Training Center at Chabot-Las Positas Community College District. “Being prepared and taking extra precautions can make driving in winter weather safer and help motorists deal with changing conditions and potential emergencies.”

The Three P’s of Safe Winter Driving include:

PREPARE:

  • Maintain your vehicle: check battery, tire tread and windshield wipers; keep your windows clear; put no-freeze fluid in the washer reservoir and check your antifreeze.
  • Keep the following in your vehicle: flashlight, jumper cables, abrasive material (sand, kitty litter, even floor mats), shovel, snow brush, ice scraper, warning devices (such as flares) and blankets.
  • If you are stopped or stalled, stay with your car, don't over exert, put bright markers on antenna or windows and, if you run your car, clear the exhaust pipe and run it just enough to stay warm.
  • Plan your route: allow plenty of time, be familiar with directions or maps and let others know your route and expected arrival time.
  • Practice cold weather driving: steer into a skid, know how your brakes work (stomp on antilock brakes, pump non-antilock brakes), maintain longer distances between cars and don't idle for a long time with the windows up or in an enclosed space.

PROTECT:

  • Always use seat belts.
  • Use child safety seats properly and never place a rear-facing infant seat in front of an air bag.
  • Keep children 12 and under in the back seat for maximum safety.

PREVENT:

  • Never mix drugs or alcohol with driving.
  • If you are planning to drink, designate a sober driver.
  • Slow down, especially during storms.
  • Keep your eyes open for pedestrians walking in the road.
  • Avoid fatigue: rest before you drive, stop at least every three hours and rotate drivers if possible.

Drivers who follow these important safety tips can help save lives and prevent accidents not only during the winter months but also throughout the year.

About the OSHA Training Center

The OSHA Training Center at Chabot-Las Positas Community College District offers high quality Occupational Safety & Health Administration standards-based training for construction, maritime and general industry in Dublin, California, conveniently located in the San Francisco Bay Area, as well as locations throughout California, Arizona, Nevada, Hawaii and Guam. Programs offered include OSHA safety standards, Outreach Trainer courses, Cal/OSHA standards curriculum, environmental courses and customized on-site safety training. For more information, including a complete course schedule, visit the OSHA Training Center website or call (866) 936-OSHA (6742).

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Cari Elofson
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