As millions of Americans take to the highways this holiday season, Shell Oil Co. has compiled a list of tips to remind drivers that a little preparation goes a long way in staying safe this time of year.
- Before you leave home, make sure your vehicle is up for the task. Check tires for proper inflation. Check all fluid levels, belts and refill and replace as necessary.
- Always use seatbelts.
- Make sure your trunk is properly stocked with items that will come in handy in the event of an emergency. These include a fire extinguisher, flares, spare tire, flashlight, jumper cables, blankets and an umbrella.
- If your tire blows out, don''t slam on the brakes. Instead, take your foot off the gas and concentrate on staying in your lane. Slow down gradually and pull off the road to a safe location.
- Avoid being cut off. Make sure you''re not driving in another driver''s blind spot.
- Get out of a skid by taking your foot off the gas, and then turning the steering wheel in the direction you want the front of the car to go.
- Trucks need room to maneuver, so give them some space. Stay 100 to 250 feet behind the trailer.
- Prevent driver fatigue on long trips by keeping the car temperature cool, taking frequent breaks and having plenty of snacks.
- In you''re involved in an accident, stay calm, move out of traffic and find a safe place to wait for the police and emergency crews. Warn other motorists by turning on your flashers and raising your hood or trunk, and watch for traffic, fire and wires.
by Virginia Sutcliffe