Archive for the ‘Safe Driving Tips’ Category

Best Practices for Visibility in the Winter Months

Posted on: November 15th, 2017 by Webolutions Hostmaster No Comments

winter visibilityDriving in the winter is an inevitability. Whether you’re traveling for the holidays, commuting to work, or just, you know, getting out of the house, it’s gonna happen. No matter how badly you wish you could stay curled up next to your fireplace all winter long, we all have to get out there on the road eventually. And when you do, there’s a good chance you’ll hit some potential for reduced visibility at least once. Here are some of our best tips for increasing visibility in various situations (and hopefully avoid the need for auto body repair).

Headlights

Make sure your headlights are in working order. It’s that time of year again where things get darker earlier and by the time you’re heading home from the office the sun is more and more likely to be set. So checking your headlights to make sure everything is running smoothly is an important part of winter road visibility. Also knowing, confidently, how to switch between high beams and low beams is a good thing to have down pat before it gets crazy. There are situations where the high beams will come in handy, like if you’re driving in the country where there’s little external light after the sun has set, so knowing how to switch them on without taking your eyes off the road is important.

Keep Those High Beams Off

While there are situations where the high beams come in handy, it’s important to note that there are very few winter weather conditions where they will come in handy. In fact, in fog and snow, they are likely to make the problem worse. If you’re trying to run your high beams during a snowy day, you’re likely to get the light reflected off the snowflakes right back into your eyes, which only makes it harder to see ANYTHING, let alone the chunk of road in front of you and the bit of your surroundings you need to make smart driving decisions.

Keep Windows Clear

Walking outside to a car covered in snow can undeniably be a pain in the butt. We get it, but taking the time to fully clear all of your windows before getting on the road is a pretty big deal. Even a small amount of snow left on the sides of your window can decrease your visibility in crucial blind spots, making it more dangerous than you might think. It’s also a good idea, as we mentioned in a previous post, to make sure your defroster and climate control are working well to keep the windows from fogging up during the drive. Ensure your windshield wiper blades are in good condition and reaching all parts of the windshield as well so you can avoid accumulation of any white fluffy stuff that may be falling while you drive.

Visibility while driving is crucial year-round, it just so happens that the list of visibility enemies is a little longer in the winter. Add in the slightly more precarious nature of the roads in general when winter weather strikes and the reasons for keeping yourself as safe as possible is apparent. What are your best winter driving visibility tips?

How Windshield Wipers Impact Your Safety on the Road

Posted on: October 27th, 2017 by Webolutions Hostmaster No Comments

winter windshield wipersTips for Winter Windshield Wipers

Getting ready for winter is on just about everybody’s mind right now. Between turning on heaters, watching the forecast for snow, and switching out those tires for your heavier-duty winter ones, there’s plenty to pay attention to when it comes to preparing your home and car for the colder months. One thing most people don’t really think about until it’s a problem (and that’s the worst time to have to think about it!) is windshield wipers. It’s easy to forget that they might not be ready for winter weather until you’re stuck with a patch of snow in your line of sight and suddenly staying on the road has become dangerous and….hello auto body repair. Are there windshield wipers that are better suited for winter conditions? The short answer is yes, but here are some things to consider.

Standard Wipers

It’s easy to choose just any old wiper when you’re in a milder climate or if you bought the wipers when the weather was balmy and beautiful, but when ice and snow enter the mix, it’s important to consider whether or not your wipers have hinges. If they do, are the hinges covered? Even better, is there a hingeless option? A lot of standard wipers have hinges, and that’s where things can start to get a little dicey.

Watch for Ice and Snow Buildup

Hinges on a windshield wiper are the perfect place for snow and ice to build up. At a certain point, the ice and snow buildup restricts the wipers’ ability to contour to the windshield’s shape and starts to miss spots, leaving your vision on the road impaired.

Hingeless Wipers

If you want to go premium, hingeless wipers are a great option. Rather than the traditional metal frame, hingeless wipers are made with flexible plastic that holds the rubber wiper. They are a little pricier, but they are the longest lasting option for a wiper that will hold up against whatever winter throws at it. That being said, hingeless is not your only option when it comes to windshield wipers that can handle winter weather.

Winter Wipers

The main difference between a standard wiper and one that is winter-ready is simple. On a winter wiper, the entire construction, frame and all, is covered by a thin rubber boot. When it starts to get dicey outside, the boot helps prevent buildup and allows the wiper to move as it should across the windshield. You do have to watch for tears in the rubber casing as it can sometimes be delicate. if snow and ice get under it, the metal frame may corrode and freeze up.

It’s not imperative that you have winter-ready windshield wipers, but since snow and ice are pretty common visitors throughout the Colorado winter, it’s worth exploring. Without them, you are much more likely to face buildup and greatly increase your risk of visibility issues. And let’s be honest, winter driving poses enough challenge without the added mess of not being able to see where you’re going clearly.

In Your Eyes – Best Ways to Beat Sun Glare

Posted on: September 17th, 2017 by Webolutions Hostmaster No Comments

beat sun glareWe’ve all had it happen – driving home during rush hour or out running errands, even on a long road trip, the sun is at just the right angle and suddenly you’re momentarily blinded by the light. Sun glare is no joke, and it can be extremely dangerous to you and others on the road. In fact, we do auto body repair on a lot of cars that are victims of sun glare. If you’ve been bothered by it time and time again and find yourself wondering how to kick it to the curb, we’ve got some tips and tricks to help beat sun glare or, at the very least, keep it to a minimum when you can’t get rid of it completely.

Sunglasses

One of the best ways to beat sun glare while you’re driving is to have a pair of polarized sunglasses handy. They block out the glare and keep those UV rays from harming your eyes. A win-win, and the most fashionable and portable of the sun glare-beating options.

Clean Windshield

While this one won’t stop sun glare entirely, it will help lessen the effects. A dirty windshield makes visibility while driving harder on multiple levels, and it definitely makes sun glare even worse than normal. Keeping your windshield clean (cleaner than the spray and swipe of the windshield wipers on the go) will help keep you safer on the road and allow for increased visibility across multiple scenarios, including pesky sun glare.

Handy Dandy Sun Visor

Hey, those little visors are in your car for a reason, and it’s not just to check your teeth in the mirror at stoplights. Sun visors can help block out the sun when it’s at some of its more problematic spots in the sky. It can’t cover all the bases, but it will certainly help increase visibility when you need it most.

There are plenty of hazards on the road, and a lot of the worst ones are out of your control. So when you have the opportunity to increase not only your safety, but the safety of those around you on the road, you want to be prepared to take it! These tips can help keep sun glare at bay without doing anything drastic, but if you find yourself in the aftermath of a wreck, don’t hesitate to give us a call at 303-344-2212. We’re the local experts in auto body repair and can help you get back on the road as quickly as possible.

Be Alert! Kids Are Back to School

Posted on: September 11th, 2017 by Webolutions Hostmaster No Comments

back to school driving tipsBack To School Driving Tips

The kids are back to school, another year of learning has commenced, and if you haven’t noticed already, traffic patterns have changed. Those blinking lights in school zones have come back on, buses are everywhere, and so are the little ones. To keep everyone safe, we thought it would be a good time to revisit some of the top back to school driving tips for parents and teen drivers alike.

Respect the Bus

Perhaps the biggest back to school driving safety rule is to always adhere to the blinking lights and stop signs on the big yellow school buses. Not only is it illegal not to stop when a bus has its lights blinking and its stop sign out, it’s necessary to keep kids safe. When a bus driver stops at a designated stop, children exiting the bus may be crossing the road, and some may go around the bus to do so. By staying put until that stop sign retracts and the lights stop flashing, you’re helping save lives and letting kids feel safe as they make their way home after school.

Adhere to School Safety Zone Limits

When you’re in the middle of rush hour and you’re trying to get somewhere in a reasonable amount of time, we get it, those slow down signs in school zones are frustrating. But really, it’s all about safety. In a school zone, there’s an increased chance of a child running across a street to get to school on time, or when a parent might be slowing down to get to a safe space to drop their little one off. Slowing down and being alert is key to making sure everyone gets to school and work safely. Just consider it a little extra time to rock out to your favorite jams in the car.

Practice Car Pool Safety

If you’re carpooling (a great idea in Colorado, we highly recommend it!), it’s important to make sure all your carpool members are following the rules of the road. The biggest box to check here is seat belts buckled, which should be easy as long as you’re not over-filling your carpool roster (another box to check – two semi-full cars is better than one over-filled one).

How to Use This Information

Safety is always important on the roads, but when school starts back up, there are a few added hazards and things to look out for. Just stay alert and follow the law to keep everyone safe and happy. And, if you should have need of any auto body repair, keep us in mind. Give us a call at 303-344-2212 or contact us online. We’d be happy to help.

Colorado Texting Law – What You Need To Know

Posted on: June 27th, 2017 by Webolutions Hostmaster No Comments

colorado texting lawDistracted driving has caused a tragic number of deaths in recent years, with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reporting 3,477 deaths from distracted driving in 2015 alone. Sadly, as an auto body repair shop, we see first-hand some of the damage related to distracted driving. With the ever-increasing presence of smartphones in our daily lives, the number of people texting and driving has escalated to a terribly dangerous degree. In order to combat this, a new Colorado texting law has recently passed increasing the penalty for first-time offenders caught texting and driving. The law increases the fine from $50 and one point against your record to $300 and four points. That’s a pretty steep hike, and for good reason. Governor Hickenlooper, prior to signing the bill into law, had been outspoken about the need for fewer distracted drivers.

New Colorado Texting Law – How it Impacts You

Understanding the origination of the bill is an important part of knowing how it will impact you and the lives of others. The original bill was brought forward by victims of distracted driving accidents and their families and initially proposed a $500 fine. After some push and pull the $300 fine brought enough lawmakers on board to pass through the state House and Senate.

The new law hopes to act as a deterrent for potentially distracted drivers while also motivating police officers to pull over people who are texting and driving more frequently. The combination of these two things could mean several things for you. If you’re a habitual phone user, even while driving, it’s time to put down the screen and focus on the road.

If you’ve already sworn off phone usage on the road, this law is only good news for you. Under the new law, technically, drivers can text at red lights or while stopped in traffic if they are also paying attention to their surroundings. However, if a police officer is around and deems your texting, even at a red light or while stopped in traffic, to be careless, they have every right to pull you over and issue a ticket. And, remember that the Colorado texting law is not just about texting, per se. It is about distracted driving resulting from the smartphone. As a covered before, even fiddling with your phone to change music while driving can equate to distracted driving and therefore, you can be fined.

One of the biggest impacts this bill brings to drivers is the four points against your license, up from the previous one. If the financial impact of a $300 fine isn’t enough to get drivers off their phones, it’s worth considering that four points are 1/3 of the 12 points required to suspend your license. For that severe of an impact, phone usage and distracted driving are habits worth breaking.

Safety While Driving

The bill’s main goal is to increase safety on the roads and in the Denver metro area, a hub with increasingly dense population, safer roads are nothing to scoff at. Putting down the phone and focusing on the drive ahead of you could save your life and the lives of others, so this is one bill to take to heart.

How to Use this Information

Though the new texting law will hopefully keep more drivers safe on the roads, sometimes there’s just no avoiding an accident. If you find yourself facing the aftermath of a collision and don’t know where to go, Accurate Auto Body in Aurora has your back. Give us a call at 303-344-2212 or contact us online and we can get you road-ready again in no time.

Distracted Driving: Music Devices While Driving

Posted on: May 17th, 2017 by Webolutions Hostmaster No Comments

music devices while drivingWe all know that texting and driving is a big no. We also know that taking a call while driving can be a distraction. But, what about music devices while driving? As your local Aurora, Colorado auto body shop, we have seen a lot of cars come into the shop as a result of distracted driving, and that includes people fiddling with their tunes.

Types of Driving Distractions

Driving distractions fall three categories, any of which can result in accidents and being at fault.

  • Visual: Anything that takes your eyes off the road
  • Manual: Anything that takes your hands off the steering wheel
  • Cognitive: Anything that takes your mind off of concentrating on driving

With texting, it is pretty easy to see that it impacts all three distractions. You see you have a text and read it, so you take your eyes off the road. You grab your phone, taking your hands off the wheel. You then concentrate on the text, so your mind is not focused. Before you know it, you have traveled the half a length of a football in a matter of seconds without looking up from your phone.

Music Devices While Driving = Danger

If you are like many of us, you use your mobile device to stream your music in the car. And, depending on your vehicle, it may seamlessly integrate with your phone so you can have better control of your tunes through the car’s existing stereo consul.

But, it can still be very distracting. For example, you may have Spotify and while driving, it may strike you that you do not have the Bieber Fever. So, you go to the phone or consul to pull up a playlist or artist you are more interested in. In doing so you have removed a hand from the wheel, taken your eyes off the road, and are now thinking about what you would rather listen too. Then, bam, it hits you that you want to listen to that famous band of yesteryear, Crash Test Dummies.

Distracted driving is distracted driving. Even if you were not “texting” the danger is still the same if fiddling with your music devices while driving.

Setting up Your Tunes to Avoid Distraction

Before hitting the road, take a moment to set up your music and make sure you have the right playlist going. Also, make sure you familiarize yourself with your music app and how it integrates with your car’s stereo systems. Some cars allow you to control such apps as Pandora simply by using the radio preset buttons on the car’s consul.

The fact is, some studies show that playing music in the car can help you focus while driving. But sometimes, you may just have to grin and bear it through that song that you may not be into, versus pulling up your phone or iPod and clicking over to another artist, playlist or Pandora station. Remember cassettes or the radio? Sometimes you just had to ride it out until you got to the good songs. But, at least you weren’t distracted and you were more focused on the road.

How to Use this Information

Here at Accurate Auto Body, we want you to stay safe. And, we all know you like your tunes while driving. Just take a moment before driving to get your songs set up so you are not trying to do so while driving down the road at 65 miles per hour. But, if you should happen to get into an accident and need auto body repair, we can help. Call us at 303-344-2212 or contact us online.

How to Drive Defensively

Posted on: April 17th, 2017 by Webolutions Hostmaster No Comments

defensive drivingDefensive Driving Tips

We are willing to bet, that since drivers education in high school, you have had the term “defensive driving” pounded into your head. Despite this, there are still a lot of crazy drivers out there who adopt offensive driving. After all, they are the reason for many accidents and why we are still employed as an auto body repair shop. But, we want all of you staying safe on the road, so we put together some defensive driving tips. And, no, none of them include driving with Von Miller in your passenger seat. Sorry.

Keep Focused

Defensive drivers have a couple of things in common. They stay focused on the road while keeping their hands at a 10 o’clock and 2 o’clock position. The two, actually, go hand in hand. When you have both hands on the wheel, you automatically adopt a more alert posture and focus on the road. With both hands on the wheel, it is not possible to:

  • Eat or drink
  • Shave (yes, we have seen this)
  • Text
  • Apply make-up
  • Hold a dog (again, yes, we have seen this be the cause of several accidents)

Keep Your Eyes Moving

Things on the road can happen very quickly. So, you need to be aware of, and process, multiple hazards at the same time. A good defensive driving tip is to keep your eyes moving to check the mirrors and scan the road ahead so you can anticipate problems.

The Two-Second Rule

When it comes to defensive driving tips, we see this one a lot. Keep and maintain a safe distance between cars, especially while in heavy traffic. To do this, adopt a two-second rule by finding an object on the road. Then, count “one Mississippi, two Mississippi” when the car in front of you passes the object. If you pass the same object before you complete “two Mississippi”, you will want to slow down.

Go With the Flow

Speeding is definitely against the law and causes a lot of accidents. But, going too slow can also create accidents. So, you will want to make sure you are driving at about the same pace as the rest of the traffic. And, if you have multiple lanes, only use the left lane for passing.

Be Seen

A lot of accidents are simply because drivers don’t see the other car. So, to be seen, do the following:

  • Turn Signals: Indicate where you wish to go so other drivers slow down and anticipate you turning.
  • Headlights: A dusk, it is a good idea to turn on your lights or anytime you are dealing with rain or snow. In fact, in some states, it is the law to turn your lights on when your windshield wipers are in operation.
  • Brake Lights: Seems like common sense, but you need to make sure your brake lights are working.
  • Avoid Blind Spots: Do not linger in other drivers’ blind spots.

How to Use This Information

We hope this information helps you stay safe out there from all the crazy drivers! But, should you need us, we are here for you and will work to get your car looking like new. Call 303-344-2212 or contact us online.

How to Remove Haze from Headlights

Posted on: March 20th, 2017 by Webolutions Hostmaster No Comments

remove headlight haze

Remove Headlight Haze With Simple Trick

Ever get the feeling that it is getting darker and darker while driving at night? Well, it may not be you, nor any contributing factor of diminished eyesight. It could be haze building up on your headlights. And, this haze on your headlights can contribute to car accidents as it can reduce your optimal field of vision while driving. As your auto body repair team, we take a look at a surprising way to remove haze from your headlights.

Why Do Headlights Get Foggy and Hazy

Most headlight covers are made of plastic. The sun gives off strong UV light that wreaks havoc, not only on your skin (ouch, sunburn!), but also on cars, including paint and, especially, plastic. Living at altitude here in Denver, we get even more intense UV light which can rapidly take its toll on headlight covers. Also, just driving will cause scratches on your headlight covers and create pits and chips.

As a result, a lot of car experts recommend replacing your headlight covers when they get especially hazy. Or, you can have the covers sanded and polished, and then apply sealants and UV protectant. This can take a while, but it is cheaper than buying and installing new covers. But, there is another way to clear the headlight haze, and the solution is likely sitting right by your toothbrush.

Toothpaste to Remove Headlight Haze

If you do not want to invest in expensive headlight cleaners and the process required to use them correctly, toothpaste could be an option to help clean your headlights. Simply take a rag and apply a small amount of toothpaste to it. Then rub it into the headlight cover in small circular motions until you are done. In most cases, you will see a significant improvement, but if your headlight cover is deeply scratched and has a lot of chips, the cheap toothpaste trick may not be your best bet.

Why Does Toothpaste Work on Headlights?

Toothpaste does seem to work, as most pastes themselves are gentle abrasives. As a result, it is a good polishing agent. You will want to avoid pastes that have things like cooling crystals, as those can create scratches. Just use a simple whitening toothpaste. Also, toothpaste can fill minor scratches on your headlights.

How Long Will Toothpaste Keep My Headlights Clean?

Toothpaste cleaning is only temporary and will not last as long as some of the more expensive cleaning alternatives. But, it will last anywhere between two to four months, and then you may want to clean your headlight covers again. Still, it isn’t bad for a simple medicine cabinet remedy for your car. You may apply a clear coat or wax to block the UV rays if you wish to get a little more time out of this cheap fix.

How to Use this Information

When it comes to foggy and hazy headlights, there are a lot of ways to clean them. We hope the old toothpaste trick will help you, and keep you safer while driving at night. If you should need auto body repair or even a new paint job or hail damage repair, we are here for you.  Call 303-344-2212 or contact us online.

Best Safety Features in Cars

Posted on: February 27th, 2017 by Webolutions Hostmaster No Comments

safety features in carsVehicles today are safer than ever, thanks in large part to new technologies that are becoming more widely available and standard options. And, it is a good thing, considering we are seeing more and more traffic accidents, especially here in Colorado. Unfortunately, many cars on the road are older and do not enjoy many of these new features. The Highway Institute estimates that the average car is over 11 years old, marking an all-time high. And, while that can save you money, you may be compromising safety if you drive an older vehicle. As your auto collision repair team, we take a look at some of the best safety features in cars that you should consider when shopping for a new vehicle.

Car Safety Features: Airbags

Next to seat belts, obviously, airbags are among the best safety features in cars. And, while most vehicles going back to 2003 have the standard driver and passenger airbags, today even the cheapest new vehicle offer side-curtain airbags. Some new cars even offer inflatable seat belts as well as pedestrian airbags that pop over the windshield in case you hit someone in the street.

Auto Safety Features: Anti-lock Braking Systems (ABS)

While not a particularly new feature, ABS is a great safety feature that allows the driver to keep the brake depressed, while the system pumps the brakes. This allows the driver to steer and maintain control of the vehicle. While not federally mandated on vehicles, ABS works in conjunction with electronic stability controls (ESC), which did become required on new vehicles in 2012.

Top Safety Features for Cars: Electronic Stability Control (ESC)

Electronic stability control keeps your car on the road when you have lost control. ESC checks the direction of your vehicle 25 times per second to see if your direction corresponds to your steering point. If the system detects that your car is sliding, it applies the brakes and reduces engine torque to help straighten your car out. Many consider ESC to be a game changer in vehicle safety features, putting it up there with seat belts and airbags, yet few people have really heard of it. But, as mentioned above, it became a requirement on all new cars in 2012.

Car Safety: Backup Cameras

By May of 2018, it will be mandated that all passenger vehicles be equipped with backup cameras. As a result, we are seeing more than half of all new cars on the market have them as standard equipment. These cameras are great for seeing objects (or people) directly behind your car while in reverse. The only tricky thing is getting in the habit of using them, while still employing the old over-shoulder glance. But, for your large SUV vehicles, they are especially handy.

Auto Safety: Forward Collision Warning

We have discussed this technology previously, and it is becoming more widely available as an option on new vehicles. Some systems simply warn and alert the driver of a collision possibility.  Other collision warning systems actually slow the car down, making the impact less severe. More advanced systems claim they can make your vehicle come to a full stop, but those results do vary depending on conditions and the actual speed of your car.

Car Voice Control for Safe Driving

Voice controls are a bit controversial when it comes to safety features in cars. Many voice control systems allow you to call people and even listen to and respond to text messages. However, a lot of evidence is piling up that show that many of those features do not actually improve vehicle safety. This is because the controls can be confusing to operation while driving and do not eliminate driver distraction, which is the leading cause of fatal accidents on Colorado roads.

How to Use this Information

There is no doubt that today’s new cars are safer, thanks in large part to some newer features, as well as better collision safety construction. As always, the best safety feature on your car is your seat belt, as well as reducing speed and avoiding distraction. However, if you do find that your car gets into an accident and requires auto body repair, let our team of repair experts help. Call 303-344-2212 or contact us online.

What to Do if Stuck in Winter Driving Conditions

Posted on: January 17th, 2017 by Webolutions Hostmaster No Comments

stuck in winter driving conditionsImagine if you were driving on a winter day or night on I-70 across the mountains and you get stuck in the snow. What would you do? Unfortunately, this happens a lot on the road. Vail pass, especially, claims a lot of stuck vehicles each year. And, we know that it can be scary and you can feel extremely helpless. But, if you take a little time to prepare before you drive, you will be just fine. As your auto body repair team, we have put together some tips for what to do if you are stuck in winter driving conditions.

Be Prepared for Heavy Winter Driving

If you are going to be driving during the winter, you should always be prepared. Some important items you should have on hand in your car are:

  • Shovel  – You may need to shovel out your car if you get stuck somewhere
  • Extra Gloves – Make sure you pack extra gloves in the car as you will want them when clearing snow from your car
  • Candles and Matches – A candle is a great source of heat and light, but you will need to crack a window.
  • Cooler with Water – Fill a small cooler with water bottles and have them handy so you can stay hydrated.
  • Food – Always carry extra food including fruit and good snacks like beef jerky, cheese, crackers, and nuts.
  • Cell phone and backup battery – Have a cell phone and, it is a good idea, to have a portable battery for your phone so it can stay charged longer.
  • Ice Scraper – You will need to, periodically, go out and clear snow and ice from the car windows.
  • Bag of Cat Litter – This is good for traction.
  • Blankets – Packing a blanket for each passenger is a must for winter driving.
  • Flashlight – You may use this to provide light as well as keep you safe in the dark, especially if you are working on the side of the road.

Stuck in Snow? Here are Tips on How to Get Out

If you do get stuck on the road, here are some things you should do to help get your car out.

Remove Snow and Ice

If you are stuck, or have been stuck for awhile, and want to try and get your car out, you will likely need to do a little digging. You will want to have the car running, so you can have the windows defrosting. Use a shovel and remove the snow from around the tires and dig a path in the direction you wish to go. If you don’t have a shovel, a hubcap or Frisbee will do the trick. Then, scrape your windshield to remove built up ice. If you don’t have a scraper, a credit card or CD case will work.

Rock and Roll

Turn your car’s wheels from side to side a few times. This will help push any remaining snow away. Then, gently ease your car forward, even a few inches are good. Then, shift into reverse and gently ease the car backward. Keep repeating this back and forth until the tires gain traction. If your tires just spin, stop immediately as the spinning will only dig you deeper. Also, if you have a passenger, have them stand outside and help push from the driver side window. But, never let anyone stand behind the vehicle as you could easily slide backward and into them.

Create Additional Traction

If this doesn’t work, spread some cat litter or sand on the ground. This will help you get traction in the snow. And, if you do not have cat litter, you can use your car mats or twigs to create the needed traction to get your vehicle moving.

What if You Can’t Get Out of the Snow?

If you cannot get out, you should stay in your car and use it as shelter. Only leave your vehicle if you can see a building in the distance and can safely get to it. But, if you cannot see shelter, it is best to simply hunker down in the car and stay warm.

Stay Hydrated and Keep Nourished

Drink at least 5 oz of water per hour (about a third of a water bottle) and eat some food such as beef jerky, granola bars, or nuts. Water will keep you hydrated, while the food will help keep your body warm as you metabolized it.

Running Car Considerations

You can leave your car running, but you will need to regularly ensure your exhaust pipe is clear. Otherwise, carbon monoxide can enter the car! Symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning are fatigue, headache, and nausea. If you feel any of these symptoms, immediately turn off your car and open a window. Also, if you are running your car, keep an eye on your gasoline levels. In extreme situations, you could be hunkered down for days, so you may need to use your gas sparingly and make sure you have enough gas to get down the road when conditions allow.

If you have candles, you can to light one and use it as a source of heat versus running your engine. A candle, in the space of a car, will keep you surprisingly warm. A simple tea candle, placed inside a tin can, creates a nice little space heater which can fit inside a cup holder.

Contact Authorities

If you have a cell phone, be sure to call authorities and let them know your location. Use your phone or car’s GPS to pinpoint your exact location so they can send help. You may also want to tie some bright fabric, if you have it, to your car’s antenna as a signal to rescuers. If needed, you can periodically turn on your vehicle to charge the cell phone (again, make sure you clear the exhaust pipe).

Keeping Warm and Using Heat Efficiently

Also, hunker down with your blankets and, if there are others in the car, huddle together to generate heat from each other’s body. Also, if you have a larger car, you can hang a blanket with tape to seal off sections of the car where there is no one sitting. This will help reduce the space of the area that requires heat and allow your use of heat to go further. This is similar to closing off rooms in your home when you have a fire roaring in your fireplace. Lastly, you can use newspaper, taped up to cover your windows as added insulation against the cold coming off the glass.

How to Use this Information

We certainly do not want anyone to get stuck in winter driving conditions. The best bet is to stay off the road if there is severe weather and don’t risk it. But, if you do have to head out, be prepared and do keep necessities like water, food, blankets, shovel, and flashlight in your car. If you are doing a longer road trip up I-70, you will want to take more precautions and quantities of water and food with you. As always, if you have need of repair, call us at 303-344-2212 or contact us online.