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Health department offers advice on being safe in winter

This news story was published on December 24, 2012.
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CG Health at Mohawk Square

From the Cerro Gordo County Health Department –

During the winter, people must be cautious of the paths they are walking. Many cold weather injuries result from falls on ice-covered sidewalks, steps and porches.

To prevent falls:

Keep your steps and walkways free of ice by using rock salt or other chemical de-icing products. Sand may also be used on walkways to reduce the risk of slipping.
Avoid wearing high heeled shoes or boots outside. Instead wear flat shoes with slip resistant soles or snow boots that will provide you with traction.
Purchase a pair of ice grippers for shoes to help you tread safely on ice and snow.
Take short, flat steps. The heels and soles of your shoes should stay in contact with the ground as long as possible, providing you with the maximum surface contact.
Remove your boots or shoes once you are inside. Snow and ice often stick to the soles and will melt almost immediately as your shoes begin to warm up. The result is a slippery surface and the risk of fall.

The best advice for driving in bad winter weather is not to drive at all, if you can avoid it. Don’t go out until the snow plow and sanding trucks have had a chance to do their work. Allow extra time to reach your destination. If you must drive in less than ideal conditions, these tips may help in making sure you steer clear of the ditch:

When driving in ice and snow:

Decrease your speed and leave yourself plenty of room to stop. Allow at least three times more space than usual between you and the car in front of you.
Brake gently to avoid skidding. If your wheels start to lock up, ease off the brake.
Turn on your lights so your visible to other motorists.
Don’t use cruise control on icy roads.
Be especially careful on bridges and overpasses which will freeze first.
Don’t pass snow plows or sanding trucks. The drivers have limited visibility, and the road in front of them is certain to be worse than behind.

If your wheels skid:

Take your foot off the accelerator.
Steer in the direction you want the front wheels to go.
If you have standard brakes, pump them gently.
If you have anti-lock brakes, do not pump the brakes. Apply steady pressure – you will feel the brakes pulse, which is completely normal.

If you get stuck:

Do not spin you wheels. This will only dig you in deeper.
Turn your wheels from side to side a few times to push snow out of the way.
Use a light touch on the gas to ease your car out.
Use a shovel to clear snow away from the wheels and the underside of the car.
Pour sand, kitty litter, gravel or salt in the path of the wheels to help with traction.
Try rocking the vehicle. Shift from forward to reverse and back again. Each time you’re in gear, give a light touch on the gas until the vehicle gets going.

Always remember to carry a general emergency kit in your car for such situations. Things to include are: first-aid kits, warm clothes, blankets, winter boots and gloves, fully charged mobile phone and phone charger, windshield scraper, snow brush, shovel and spare container of winter-grade washer fluid.

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3 Responses to Health department offers advice on being safe in winter

  1. Avatar

    LVS Reply Report comment

    December 26, 2012 at 8:37 am

    @John-maybe you learned it in school, but a lot of other people seem like the didn’t. A reminder or refresher never hurts and they are doing their jobs trying to protect people’s health. It just seems like if you want to put someone down, there are lots of people that on the city council and the county supervisors that will give you lots of ammunition.

  2. Avatar

    John Reply Report comment

    December 25, 2012 at 8:03 pm

    good thing we have Cerro Gordo County Health to teach us common sense things I learned as a kid in my grade school years and while learning to drive 40 years ago.

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    LVS Reply Report comment

    December 25, 2012 at 7:23 am

    Good Advice.