By Tim Kowols
Before heavier snowfall comes to the Door peninsula, law enforcement is encouraging motorists to start planning for the worst while traveling now. In addition to driving slower and giving more time and space on the roads, packing an emergency kit can help make worst-case scenarios more tolerable. Kewaunee County Sheriff Matt Joski says motorists should keep a close eye on their tires and fuel levels.
According to the Wisconsin Department of Transportation, last winter’s months (November-March) were among the safest in regards to fatalities on state roadways since World War II. You can read the full Sheriff’s Corner online with this story.
As we approach the Thanksgiving weekend, we find ourselves with moderate weather and excellent road conditions. I know that many of the deer hunters out there would like to have some snow on the ground for tracking but I think I speak for the rest of us who are just fine with the continued fall like conditions. So far the precipitation has been the type that takes care of itself and does not require my assistance in shoveling; however the white stuff is sure to be arriving soon! It never fails that many of us are caught off guard by the first few storms and the potential dangers that accompany them. Just over the past few years there has been many a situation where motorists have found themselves stranded with little or no resources and many times help can be a long time in arriving.
These past incidents provide us with a stark warning that we too could find ourselves stranded and pre-planning our winter readiness could mean the difference between a mere inconvenience and a tragic experience.
It is a good practice to maintain a full tank of fuel throughout the winter season. This means filling up at the end of your days commute so that you are starting out the next day or next trip with a full tank. As temperatures begin their inevitable descent it may also be a good idea to add fuel treatment to prevent gas line freeze up each time you fill your tanks.
Each vehicle should be equipped with some basic essentials. A blanket and extra set of winter gear is always a great idea. A set of jumper cables or even a portable power pack is also great resource not only for your vehicle but to provide assistance to others. You may want to consider a small kit which may include some bottled water, as well as some snack bars.
As in all travels it is a great idea to let others know where you are going and even more important a travel route you plan on taking. We are fortunate to live in an age of technology where we are only a cell phone call away from assistance. An additional gadget that may aid in the ability to maintain that vital communication would be an adaptor for charging those devices from your vehicle.
It is my hope that we have a record breaking season in that there are very few accidents, and even more important no injuries. Cautious driving and pre-planning are the key to a successful winter traveling season, and I wish everyone safe Thanksgiving Travels!