ZONE Talks T Road risks rise during winter

ZONE Talks T Road risks rise during winter
Talks ZONE
Safety Talks
direct to your
Road risks rise during winter
he dangers of operating a motor
vehicle increase dramatically
during the winter. The two main
factors involved with staying safe
are the condition of your vehicle and how
you operate it.
Winter weather is hard on vehicles and
their engines. Keeping them in good
technical repair reduces the likelihood of an
accident while driving.
Here are some ways to do that:
• Use four matched winter tires that carry
the winter tire logo (also known as the
alpine symbol — a snowflake and
mountain) even when driving a 4X4.
These tires provide better traction in
snow, slush and icy conditions. Check
for wear before installing previouslyused tires and check tire air pressure
frequently, as it decreases in cold
• Get a maintenance check-up. Make sure
the battery, brakes, lights and fuses,
cooling and heating systems, electrical
and exhaust systems, belts and hoses are
in top shape.
• Install winter wiper blades. They are
heavier, able to push snow and ice
• Make sure the windshield washer
reservoir is full and carry extra washer
fluid in the vehicle.
• Check the window scraper and make
sure its blade is still in good shape.
• Put a 50-pound (20 kilogram) bag of
salt, sand or kitty litter in the trunk. It
will provide added traction for rearwheel drive cars and come in handy if
you get stuck.
• Keep an emergency kit in your trunk. It
should contain warm clothes, blankets,
non-perishable high-energy foods, flashlight and fresh batteries, a candle and
matches in a tin can, a first aid kit, a
spare pair of gloves, jumper cables and a
snow shovel.
The safest strategy is to avoid driving in
bad weather. If you must drive, check
weather and travel conditions before
heading out. Give yourself extra time for
travel and, if weather is bad, wait for
conditions to improve.
Before getting under way, clear snow and
ice from all windows, lights, mirrors, hood
and the roof.
On the road, always follow the two basic
rules of winter driving: Reduce speed and
increase following distance.
All movements behind the wheel should
be controlled and deliberate, helping you
maintain control and allowing other drivers
to adjust to your actions.
The danger of skidding is greatest when
you are taken by surprise. Since not all
vehicles respond in the same way to icy,
slippery roads, you should know how to
handle yours in all types of weather.
Rear-wheel skid
• Take your foot off the brake pedal if
hard braking causes the rear wheels to
• Ease off the gas pedal if the rear wheels
lose traction.
• Shift to neutral.
(automatic) or push in the clutch
pedal (standard).
• Look down the road in the
direction you want the
vehicle to go. To regain
control, steer gently in that
• Once the vehicle is straight,
return to a driving gear and
accelerate gently.
Front-wheel skid
• Release the brake if the front
wheels skid from hard braking.
• Ease off the gas pedal if the
front wheels lose traction.
• Shift to neutral (automatic) or push in
the clutch (standard).
• Wait for the front wheels to grip the road
• Select drive (automatic) or release the
clutch (standard).
• Accelerate gently.
Four-wheel skid
Sometimes all four wheels lose traction,
generally at high speeds or under poor road
conditions. To regain steering control:
• Remove your foot from the brake or
• Shift into neutral.
• Look and steer in the direction you want
the front of the vehicle to go.
• Wait for the wheels to grip the road
• Return to a driving gear.
Proper braking is important for safe
winter driving. If you don’t have anti-lock
brakes (ABS), the best way to stop on a
slippery road is to brake, but not so hard
that your tires stop turning. If you brake too
hard and cause the wheels to lock (stop
turning), release the pedal just enough to
get the wheels rolling. Then, brake again
right away, with slightly less force than
The material contained in this document has been prepared from sources believed to be accurate and reliable. Application of this
information to a specific worksite should be reviewed by a safety professional. Anyone making use of the information set forth herein
does so at their own risk and assumes any and all liability arising therefrom. Specific medical advice should be obtained through
consultation with a physician or other trained health care practitioner.
The Quiz
These questions are meant to help you remember what was discussed
today — not to test your patience or challenge your intelligence. The
answers are at the bottom of the page. Cover them up, and complete the
quiz as quickly as you can.
1. It is always safe to drive the posted speed limit during the winter.
TRUE ____ FALSE ____
2. Should two winter tires and two all-season radial tires be used on the
same vehicle?
YES ____ NO ____
3. Which of these are ways to keep your vehicle in good condition for
winter driving:
A. Make sure battery, brakes, lights, cooling and heating
systems, electrical and exhaust systems are all functioning
B. Check tire pressure frequently.
C. Install winter wiper blades.
D. Carry extra windshield washer fluid in the vehicle.
E. All of the above.
4. One of the two basic rules for safe winter driving is to reduce the
speed at which you follow other vehicles.
TRUE ____ FALSE ____
5. On a snow-covered road, all movements behind the wheel should
A. Quick and firm.
B. Slow and steady.
C. Controlled and deliberate.
D. None of the above.
6. All vehicles respond the same way during a skid.
TRUE ____ FALSE ____
7. Which of these are steps to regain control in a front-wheel skid:
A. Release the brake if hard braking causes the skid.
B. Ease off the gas pedal if the front wheels lose traction.
C. Put the transmission in neutral and wait for the front wheels
to grip the road again.
D. When traction is regained, put the transmission in gear and
accelerate gently.
E. All of the above.
8. Does your vehicle have an anti-lock braking system?
YES ____ NO ____ DON’T KNOW____
ANSWERS: 1. False, 2. No, 3. E., 4. True, 5. C., 6. False, 7. E., 8. Your answer
Talks Zone — Inbox Safety Talks is published by Skilven Publications Inc. All rights reserved © 2014. This Safety Talk is licensed to ONE
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publication is to be distributed without first obtaining the correct software license or
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Hold These Thoughts
What should you do if you get
stuck or stranded in the snow?
• Don't panic!
• Avoid over-exertion and
over-exposure to the cold. Cold
weather can put extra stress on
the heart and contribute to the
hazards of over-exertion. Sweaty
clothes next to the skin are not
good insulators against the cold.
• Stay in the vehicle if you cannot
shovel it out of the snow.
• Stay in the vehicle in blizzard
conditions. Do not go for help
unless it is very close and walking
is safe. You can easily get
disoriented in a blizzard.
• Turn on flashing lights or set up
flares. A brightly-colored cloth on
the radio antenna could make
your vehicle more visible in
• Run the engine occasionally
(about 10 minutes every hour) to
provide heat and to conserve fuel.
Ensure that the tail exhaust pipe is
free of snow and keep the window
opened slightly (on the side
shielded from the wind) to prevent
the build-up of carbon monoxide
when the engine is running.
• Bundle up in a blanket. If there
is more than one person in the
car, share. Two people sharing
blankets will be warmer than either
person alone in a blanket.
• Wear a hat and scarf. The
head and neck are major sources
of heat loss from the body.
• Monitor for any signs of
frostbite and hypothermia.
• Do not fall asleep. If there is
more than one person in the car,
take turns sleeping.
• Do not stay in one position too
long. Do some exercises to help
the circulation; move arms and
legs, clap your hands, etc.
• Watch for traffic or emergency
For the Record
Date of Meeting: _________________________
Location: _______________________________
Start Time: ______ Finish Time: ______
Topic: ______________________________
Meeting Leader: _____________________
In Attendance:
Tips for Safety Meeting Leaders
Play it straight. Don't try to bamboozle your
audience and don't preach to or teach to them. You
might have the safety title but your audience has got
the experience. Ask a few pointed questions rather
than just go through safety procedures. Getting a
response from your audience means a successful
meeting. Try throwing in a statement so wrong just
to see if any one is awake and will challenge it.
Don't let anything interrupt the meeting. Before
you start, make arrangements for someone to
answer your phone and take messages. Check to
make sure other activities aren’t scheduled for the
same time, or that people don’t have to leave early.
Ask your audience to turn off their cell phones or
other communication devices.
Get close to ‘near misses. Encourage employees
to recall situations when they came close to having
an accident. Try to get the group to learn from these
experiences. When discussing near misses or actual
incidents, be sure not to criticize anyone by name in
front of the group.
Talk is cheap, and valuable. Remember,
accidents are costly in more ways than one. Invest a
little talk and time in safety programs
Note: TalksZone safety meetings are not intended to take the place of your own safety procedures.
Always consult and/or review your procedures before attempting any work.
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