Cold Weather Safety

The cold weather months bring their own problems and challenges to safety that can be easily forgotten over warmer months. The colder months are prone to sudden changes of conditions that can make it harder to stay safe. Refresh your memory and learn some new tips for staying safe this winter.

Pay Attention to the Weather

Weather forecasts have improved over recent decades. While predicting weather over a few days is still fraught with uncertainty, forecasts covering the next 24 hours are generally extremely accurate. Stay tuned to weather information sources so you are aware of any potential winter storms that might be in store for you today. This can affect your travel plans, how you dress for the day, and how you prepare for possible precipitation.

Be Prepared

Have a plan in place for when severe winter weather strikes. Rarely does a winter storm come up suddenly and without warning. When word first comes of an impending weather event, begin to prepare by ensuring that you have enough food and water if you are stuck in the house for a day or two. Consider how you will stay warm should the weather take out your ability to heat your home. Keep elderly friends and loved ones in mind as you prepare, and check to see if they are ready for the storm.

Pay Attention to Your Body

Whether you are playing in the fresh snowfall or toiling through the chore of removing snow from sidewalks and driveways, being out in the cold weather will take a toll on your body. While it is important to bundle up to preserve body heat, shoveling snow can work up a sweat on even the coldest days. It’s easy to ignore the signs of thirst during colder days, so make it a point to remain hydrated. Exposed body parts can quickly become frostbitten in cold air, even when the rest of you is warmly covered in coats and scarves. Take care to ensure that any exposed areas of skin have time to warm up between outdoor activities.

Slower is Safer

Whether driving or walking, it pays to slow down and pay very careful attention to the path in front of you during colder days. Ice can be difficult to spot, so test footing carefully when walking. Also, be on the lookout for icicles that could potentially fall from eaves and injure you as you walk under them.

When driving, remember that if you begin to skid, it is usually best to keep your foot off the brakes until you regain a dry surface that can provide traction. Should you be caught driving in snow, keep your low beams on. The light from high beams will reflect off snow and fog actually creating worse visibility than using the low beams. Always allow plenty of room for stopping should the vehicle in front of you suddenly run into trouble. The most common cause of accidents in snow or ice comes from following a vehicle too closely for the conditions.

Paying attention to safety can help prevent tragic accidents that often carry long-lasting consequences. Follow these safety tips and stay safe this winter.