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Winter Storm, Plows, February 8, 2013With snow in the forecast, MassDOT reminds motorists to plan ahead, avoid travel during the snow event when possible, and be prepared for Winter Travel!

Be sure to Prepare Your Vehicle For Winter Driving and bring Winter Car Supplies. Use Common Sense While Driving Near Snow Plows and know what to do In Case You’re Stranded.

Check out our MassDOT tips:

Safe Winter Driving Tips

  • Clear snow and ice from all windows and lights – even the hood and roof- before driving
  • Leave plenty of room for stopping.
  • Pay attention don’t try to out drive the conditions. Remember the posted speed limits are for dry pavement.
  • Know the current road conditions.
  • Use brakes carefully. Brake early. Brake correctly. It takes more time and distance to stop in adverse conditions.
  • Bridge decks freeze first. Due to the difference in the exposure to air, the surface condition can be worse on a bridge than on the approach road.
  • Exit ramps are an even greater challenge during the winter since they may have received less anti-icing material than the main line. Be aware of this when exiting the highway.
  • Don’t use the “cruise control” option driving in wintry conditions. Even roads that appear clear can have sudden slippery spots and the slightest touch of your brakes to deactivate the cruise control can cause you to lose control of your vehicle.
  • Don’t get overconfident in your 4×4 vehicle. Remember that, if you are driving a four wheel drive vehicle, the vehicle may help you get going quicker but it won’t help you stop any quicker. Many 4×4 vehicles are heavier than passenger vehicles and actually may take longer to stop. Don’t get overconfident in your 4×4 vehicle’s traction.
  • Look further ahead in traffic than you normally do. Actions by cars and trucks will alert you quicker to problems and give you a split-second extra time to react safely.
  • Remember that trucks are heavier than cars. Trucks take longer to safely respond and come to a complete stop, so avoid cutting quickly in front of them.
  • Leave room for maintenance vehicles and plows – stay back at least 200 feet and don’t pass on the right. (See additional information below.)
  • Most importantly please remember to SLOW DOWN! Also, seat belts should be worn at all times – it’s the law.

Winter Car Supplies

Keep winter car supplies that can assist you in case of an emergency. You easily can equip your vehicle with essential gear for winter. Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Booster cables
  • Two or more blankets
  • Snow shovel and scraper
  • Flashlight and extra batteries
  • Extra clothing: cap, mittens, parka and overshoes or boots in case you have to walk for help.
  • High calorie, non-perishable food like candy and canned nuts.
  • Sand or strips of carpet for traction.
  • Extra windshield washer fluid and antifreeze
  • Flares or reflectors
  • Cloth/paper towels
  • Piece of bright cloth

In Case You Are Stranded While Driving In Winter

  • Call 911. If you have access to a telephone call 911 to summons help. In other states you may be able to call 911 or “O” to get the operator on the line. When you talk to authorities, be prepared to:
    • Describe the location, condition of your companions and the trouble you are experiencing.
    • Listen for questions.
    • Follow any instruction. You may be told you should stay where you are to guide rescuers or to return to the scene.
    • Do not hang up until you know who you have spoken with and what will happen next.
  • Stay in your vehicle. Walking in a storm can be very dangerous. You can lose your way, wander out of reach, become exhausted, collapse and risk your life. Your vehicle itself is a good shelter.

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