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Family Matters


December 16th, 2014

Icy roads, freezing temperatures and Chipmunks singing about Santa are among the many stresses for people who are driving long distances during the holiday season. 

To help, Ford has some helpful safety tips for travelers heading out on the roads for the holiday season, to ensure that the trip is memorable for all the right reasons – even if the kids start asking “are we there yet?” the minute you take off.

Know before you go: Before setting off, plan your route and check it for problems– traffic and weather – and while travelling, listen to the radio for information updates. “With everything else that needs to be done at this time of year, it’s important to slow down so that you are prepared for the trip itself,” says Ainsworth Wisdom of Northstar Ford Lincoln in Fort McMurray. “I know that can be easier said than done!”

Clear Off!: Remove snow and ice from all windows, mirrors, lights and roof before hitting the road as it can be dangerous to yourself and other drivers. Top up your winter washer fluid, and always have a snow brush and ice scraper on hand.

Give yourself enough time to complete the journey: Plan for stops along the way. Drive at an appropriate speed for the road conditions and leave extra time to account for inclement conditions on your trip.

Cold Comfort: Be sure to pack winter essentials including de-icer, snow shovel, blanket, tow rope, torch, granola bars, a scraper and booster cables as an emergency kit.

Winter Tires: Consider switching your all-season tires to winter tires. Winter tires offer considerable benefits below 7 Celsius.

Pack heavier items in lower areas of the vehicle: When filling up the cargo areas of the vehicle with presents and luggage, always place the heaviest items close to the vehicle floor or truck bed so that in the event of a quick stop, those items remain in place and do not move forward in the vehicle where they can collide with passengers or other materials.

Be Tech Savvy: Your vehicle may have features that can help in difficult situations. For example Ford’s SYNC with 911 Assist can call to emergency operators in three languages, and also give your vehicle’s location if activated. 

A few final tips:

-          Drive slowly and smoothly – carefully accelerate and brake - to reduce wheel slip and chances of skidding. If you do skid, steer into it and gently reduce speed

-          Leave plenty of room – up to 10 times the distance - between vehicles in front of you and never take your hands from the steering wheel

-          Be wary of driving in the wheel tracks of other vehicles if the road has not been sanded - compressed snow is icier

-          Sunglasses aren’t just for summer – they can reduce glare of the sun on snow

-          Put an old pieces of carpet in the trunk for placing under your drive wheels if you get stuck in snow

Tags: Safety

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