Incident Preparedness

Are You Ready for Winter Travel?

Check Your Car:

  • Fluid levels topped off.
  • Enough anti-freeze in your radiator.
  • Freeze preventive washing fluid in your windshield washer reservoir.
  • Tires filled to the recommended pressure – go by what is printed on the door jamb of the driver’s door – not by what is printed on the tire itself. Also be sure to check the air pressure in your spare tire.
  • Belts and hoses in good condition.
  • Several automobile shops will perform these checks for free such as Les Schwab.


Things to Carry with You in the Car:

  • Tire chains (watch a video on the internet about installing them before you leave).
  • Blanket, food, and water for every person in the car.
  • Any required medications.
  • Warm clothes including gloves.
  • First aid kit for you or another motorist involved in an accident.
  • Cell phone and charging cable (keep your phone plugged into the USB port and charged while driving).
  • A paper list of family & friends phone numbers (in case your phone dies).
  • A good working flashlight and extra batteries.
  • Proof of insurance.
  • Vehicle emergency kit including flares/flashers.
  • A bag of ice melt, sand, and/or chicken grit and a snow shovel (especially if you have a pickup or SUV).


Winter Driving Habits:

  • If conditions are bad, consider staying home or stopping at a motel.
  • Stop frequently for gas on long trips and don’t let your car get below half a tank.
  • Make sure family and friends know your travel plans and check in with them on the drive.
  • Keep in mind when driving on slick or snowy roads that acceleration and braking take longer.
  • All wheel drive, four-wheel drive, and electronic stability control all work well, but you are still subject to the laws of physics. Don’t over-rely on these systems.
  • Avoid making aggressive maneuvers and increase your following distance to the vehicle in front of you.
  • If you do start to skid, don’t slam on the brakes. Steer in the direction of the skid.
  • Slow down and drive safely.