There’s No Trouble Like Snow Trouble

You are going to do what?  Go where?  In your car?  What are you thinking!  Don’t go out there!  The weather person just said that driving will be treacherous!  It’s a blizzard out there!  For whatever reason, you are going anyway.   If you must…

Night driving should be avoided.   Don’t go out without a cell phone.  Be prepared with a properly winterized car.  Pack your emergency supplies, food, and clothing.  Make sure your insurance coverage is up-to-date, and know how it applies to any and all winter driving troubles.

As you are driving, be aware of any emergency Call Boxes along the roadside.  Watch for signs that display mobile phone numbers for your state’s Highway Patrol.  Street signs, mile markers, and points of interest could be useful in the event of a problem.

If you have trouble with your car or if you are concerned about proceeding in the snow storm, DON’T PANIC!  Move your car as far off the road as possible.  You will lessen the chance that another driver will collide with you, and you will also be out of the way of emergency vehicles.  More than likely you will not be a victim of a hit-and-run.  If you leave the car, you will not have to pay the high cost of towing an abandoned car.

Contact anyone that you feel could help you.  Remember that roadside Call Box?  Use it.  Are you driving your new or leased Toyota?  Of course you are!  Your free Toyota Care Maintenance Plan offers “Towing for the unexpected”.  A one-year complimentary trial use of Toyota’s “Safety Connect” is offered for new equipped 2010 or later cars.  The service can be extended by subscription.  Subscriptions are available for equipped pre-owned cars as well.  By pressing the Emergency Assistance Button, “SOS, your location becomes known for roadside assistance or emergency agency assistance.  The service is available 24/7.

Making your car visible is important.  Turn on your hazard lights.  Set out flares (in your emergency kit, right?).  Attach something bright and colorful (with your emergency supplies, right?) to your car, the higher the better.

Now you are just sitting there.  To abandon or not to abandon… That is the question.  If you know that a tow truck or other help is on the way, stay with the car.  Make an honest assessment of your abilities and situation.  Are you physically and mentally able to take on this task?  Are you dressed well enough to be outside for an undetermined amount of time?  How far away is the closest road exit?  Is there a building nearby?  Is it day or night?

Your self-assessment has determined that you will leave your car.  Leave the hazard lights flashing and the flares flaring.  Put notes giving contact information in the driver’s window and on the dashboard.  Take anything of value with you.  Remove and take anything that might contain personal information (other than for contact).   Set the emergency brake.  Lock any lockable compartments inside the car.  Lock the car. Go for it.  And remember, baby, it’s cold outside when you’re walkin’ in a winter wonderland!

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