Missoula City-County Health Department: Health Promotion
WINTER DRIVING SAFETY TIPS
According to the U.S. Department of Commerce, about:
70% of fatal automobile accidents are ice-or-snow
25% of winter deaths can be attributed to people being caught
out in a storm
To reduce your chances of being part of those unpleasant statistics,
consider the following guidelines:
- Put an emergency winter driving car kit in your car.
Wyoming tip sheet
- Do not drive in really bad weather. Is that trip really worth
risking your life?
- Check travel information and road conditions before starting your trip:
Montana Department of Transportation
- Before driving, clear all the snow and ice from your vehicles' hood,
roof, windows and lights.
- Insist that everyone in the car wear their seatbelt.
- Do not allow yourself to be
distracted while driving. Pull over and stop if you really must
use your cell phone.
- Watch for slippery bridges and bridge decks. Even when the rest of the
pavement appears to be in good condition, bridge decks will ice up sooner
than the adjacent pavement.
- Be aware of hazardous road conditions, particularly black ice which can be
particularly deceptive in its appearance giving the driver a false sense of
security on the road.
- Stay on main roads; avoid back roads and alleys.
Keep your gas tank full.
- Drive with your headlights on so others can
- Stay with the car. Many people die of hypothermia when they
attempt to walk to safety during a storm.
- Use the heater 10 minutes out of each hour. Constantly move
your arms and legs to maintain good circulation and avoid hypothermia.
- Tie a bright piece of cloth or flagging ribbon to the car's antenna.
- Clear exhaust pipes of snow.
Carbon monoxide is
a silent killer!
- Ensure that all stairways, walkways and sidewalks are cleared of
snow and ice as soon as possible. Pre-treat these areas.
- Clear garage openings of snow.
Carbon monoxide is
a silent killer!
- Have an emergency GO-KIT in your
home or business.
- Be aware of the fire danger from space heaters and candles; keep
such devices away from all flammable materials.
- Clear catch basins and fire hydrants.
- Do not shovel snow into the street. Instead, put all cleared
snow in your front yard, or between the curb and sidewalk.
- Only use portable heaters that have UL-approved wiring. Only
plug them into outlets in good working condition. Do not use two-prong,
extension cords or use a 2 to 3 prong converter to convert to a grounded
connection. Do not use an already loaded circuit.
- Listen to radio, television or NOAA Weather Radio for weather
reports and emergency information.
Consider taking the bus!
Local bus schedules
Mountain Line Rider Alerts - for changes in bus schedules
- Dress for the weather: wear several layers of loose-fitting,
lightweight, warm clothing rather than one layer of heavy clothing.
- Wear gloves or mittens and a hat; cover your mouth with a scarf to
protect your lungs.
- Watch for signs of frostbite - Skin appears white and waxy; numbness
or no feeling in that area; blisters.
- Watch for signs of hypothermia - Shivering and numbness, confusion
or dizziness, stumbling and weakness, slow or slurred speech.
- If you see a homeless person in the cold that may need assistance,
- Avoid overexertion when shoveling snow. Overexertion can bring on a
heart attack; a major cause of death during the winter.
Ice Control/Deicer plans
For Missoula County Employees:
Missoula County Personnel Policies on Emergency Closure of County Offices