News Search

Winter driving skills

by Brian Stives(bstives2) from 501st Combat Support Wing(501 CSW)

by Brian Stives(bstives2) from 501st Combat Support Wing(501 CSW)

PEASE AIR NATIONAL GUARD BASE, NEW HAMPSHIRE -- Getting around during the winter months in New England can be challenging for newcomers and natives alike. Consequently, the 157th Air Refueling Wing Safety Office offers the Pease community some tips for navigating this year's winter travel safely.

Driving Tips:

- Reduce driving speed as weather conditions dictate.
- Increase following distances between your vehicle and surrounding cars.
- Keep all windows and the roof completely clear.  Make sure all lights are free of snow and ice.
- Make speed and directional changes gradually -- avoid sudden, jerky movements.
- Get the "feel" of the road when you begin driving.
- The wheels must be turning for a driver to have steering control. Those who don't have ABS brakes should pump the brakes instead of applying even pressure.
- Do not use cruise control in snow and icy conditions.
- Watch for danger spots ahead. This includes other vehicles that may suddenly lose control.
- Keep in mind that temperature affects traction. Ice is most slippery near the freezing point. Bridges and shady spots tend to ice over first.
- When going uphill, apply enough power to maintain speed but not enough to cause the wheels to spin.
- Pay close attention to weather forecasts and law enforcement advisories.
- Snow tires offer better traction than ordinary tires.

"The key to safe winter driving is slowing down and using good common sense," said Master Sgt. Jeremiah Neault, 157 ARW Safety and Occupational Health Manager. "Sometimes people panic or don't use enough caution when traveling in bad weather and that's when problems occur."


"Blizzards are perhaps the worst of all possible conditions for driving," said Neault. "A driver can be faced with a rapid drop in temperature, limited visibility, slippery roads, drifting snow and difficulty in steering. Because of this, try to avoid driving in blizzards. If you absolutely must venture out, stay tuned to a local radio station for severe weather information."

For travelers who find themselves stranded in a blizzard, keep in mind the following precautions:

- Do not panic. Stay in the car so you can be found more easily.
- Keep a window open slightly on the side opposite of the wind direction for fresh air. Freezing, wet snow can completely seal out oxygen.
- Be aware of carbon monoxide. Run the engine and heater sparingly and only with a window open for ventilation. Periodically, check to ensure snow has not blocked the exhaust pipe.
- Do not remain in one position. Clap your hands and move your arms and legs vigorously from time to time.
- Use your emergency flashers to make your vehicle more visible to working crews. Turn on your dome light at night.
- Take turns keeping watch. If more than one person is in the vehicle, do not all sleep at one time.
- Beware of overexertion and overexposure.
- Keep your gas tank at least half full. This will ensure you have gas to keep the motor running if you get stranded.

Be Prepared:

"Being prepared for winter conditions is an absolute necessity," Neault said. "It could save your life if you have to spend some unexpected time outside if your car won't start or you get in an accident or stranded along the road. Drivers should keep a few precautionary items stored in the car over the next few months."

A complete change of clothing should be kept on hand for the driver and passengers, according to Neault. Gloves, mittens and hats that cover heads and ears are important. High calorie foods and water can come in handy when trying to stay warm. When traveling long distances with young children, be sure to include extra diapers and other supplies that might be needed. Other items that should be kept in the car include candles, a flashlight, matches, a can opener, CB radio or cell phone, regular medication, a small bucket or bag of salt & sand, and blankets.

Items to keep on hand for the car include an in-cab battery charger, additives for fuel, starting fluid, and engine or coolant heaters if needed.

Neault advises the community to drive smart and safe this winter.

During inclement winter weather Airman are encouraged to call the Pease Snow Line 603-430-2556 or 603-430-2557 prior to the start of their shift.

For further information on winter driving, visit https://eis.ang.af.mil/org/157ARW/WingStaff/SE/Pages/default.aspx
Pease personnel may also call the safety office at 603-430-3487 or visit their website: http://www.157arw.ang.af.mil/units/wingstaff/157arw-safety/index.asp

USAF Comments Policy
If you wish to comment, use the text box below. AF reserves the right to modify this policy at any time.

This is a moderated forum. That means all comments will be reviewed before posting. In addition, we expect that participants will treat each other, as well as our agency and our employees, with respect. We will not post comments that contain abusive or vulgar language, spam, hate speech, personal attacks, violate EEO policy, are offensive to other or similar content. We will not post comments that are spam, are clearly "off topic", promote services or products, infringe copyright protected material, or contain any links that don't contribute to the discussion. Comments that make unsupported accusations will also not be posted. The AF and the AF alone will make a determination as to which comments will be posted. Any references to commercial entities, products, services, or other non-governmental organizations or individuals that remain on the site are provided solely for the information of individuals using this page. These references are not intended to reflect the opinion of the AF, DoD, the United States, or its officers or employees concerning the significance, priority, or importance to be given the referenced entity, product, service, or organization. Such references are not an official or personal endorsement of any product, person, or service, and may not be quoted or reproduced for the purpose of stating or implying AF endorsement or approval of any product, person, or service.

Any comments that report criminal activity including: suicidal behaviour or sexual assault will be reported to appropriate authorities including OSI. This forum is not:

  • This forum is not to be used to report criminal activity. If you have information for law enforcement, please contact OSI or your local police agency.
  • Do not submit unsolicited proposals, or other business ideas or inquiries to this forum. This site is not to be used for contracting or commercial business.
  • This forum may not be used for the submission of any claim, demand, informal or formal complaint, or any other form of legal and/or administrative notice or process, or for the exhaustion of any legal and/or administrative remedy.

AF does not guarantee or warrant that any information posted by individuals on this forum is correct, and disclaims any liability for any loss or damage resulting from reliance on any such information. AF may not be able to verify, does not warrant or guarantee, and assumes no liability for anything posted on this website by any other person. AF does not endorse, support or otherwise promote any private or commercial entity or the information, products or services contained on those websites that may be reached through links on our website.

Members of the media are asked to send questions to the public affairs through their normal channels and to refrain from submitting questions here as comments. Reporter questions will not be posted. We recognize that the Web is a 24/7 medium, and your comments are welcome at any time. However, given the need to manage federal resources, moderating and posting of comments will occur during regular business hours Monday through Friday. Comments submitted after hours or on weekends will be read and posted as early as possible; in most cases, this means the next business day.

For the benefit of robust discussion, we ask that comments remain "on-topic." This means that comments will be posted only as it relates to the topic that is being discussed within the blog post. The views expressed on the site by non-federal commentators do not necessarily reflect the official views of the AF or the Federal Government.

To protect your own privacy and the privacy of others, please do not include personally identifiable information, such as name, Social Security number, DoD ID number, OSI Case number, phone numbers or email addresses in the body of your comment. If you do voluntarily include personally identifiable information in your comment, such as your name, that comment may or may not be posted on the page. If your comment is posted, your name will not be redacted or removed. In no circumstances will comments be posted that contain Social Security numbers, DoD ID numbers, OSI case numbers, addresses, email address or phone numbers. The default for the posting of comments is "anonymous", but if you opt not to, any information, including your login name, may be displayed on our site.

Thank you for taking the time to read this comment policy. We encourage your participation in our discussion and look forward to an active exchange of ideas.