Basic Winter Travel Safety Tips

If you choose to travel by air in the wintertime, you may find yourself worrying about whether the plane will take off on time or, in some cases, at all. Maybe a storm is coming, or is snow on the way? This type of weather tends to have a big effect on air travel. Some of the low cost air carriers may actually cancel flights in winter due to lack of passengers. Always check your flight status before you leave for the airport, just to play it safe.

How about train travel though? Aren’t there problems associated with it? If you are taking the train to your destination, you need not worry too much, as the rail lines in the United States and in most of Europe are quite well maintained and modern. Things like weather delays rarely happen in train travel. So, train travel tends to be an excellent choice for travel in winter. The disadvantages are that there really isn’t much flexibility, there’s few stops and you must be there at a specific time to board.

Thinking of driving down the highway instead? You better double check these safety points, as winter driving can be a real hazard. Make sure to check and make sure that your car heater and defroster are ok. Check your battery to make sure it is operating in good shape. See if your spare tire needs a change, as you might just end up needing it. Always carry chains and use winter tires if you anticipate heavy snow on the road ahead. Check to see if your lights are ok, install additional lights, like fog lights, to better your night vision range. Do not go too fast, be sure to slow down. Turn your cruise control off, as this can be dangerous if you suddenly encounter weather or hazardous road conditions. Carry ample food and water, as well as spare blankets and emergency supplies. Carry extra winter clothing to keep yourself and your family warm if you get stopped or stuck somewhere. Keep your cell phone fully charged and carry a spare cell phone or hand or battery operated cell phone charger with you. Ensure you know the route maps very well. Always be on the lookout for rest areas on your route. You should also try to avoid driving at night if the weather is bad, as visibility will be at its worst at night. When you are driving on a bridge, be extra careful, snow on bridges tends to be harder and more slippery. Be alert about any curves and bends in the road ahead, always be ready to brake if you need to. Winter driving can be a challenging experience, make sure you are fully prepared for it.

Driving is generally less safe in winter, especially if you are driving through snow or rain or on roads where you have never driven before. Be especially careful on roads that are curvy. If you break down or get stuck, don’t panic. Park along the side of the road and keep your emergency blinkers on. Try using your cell phone to call for help. Make use of your emergency supplies and be sure to stay warm, above all.