We’ve just celebrated another Thanksgiving with friends and family by stuffing our faces with turkey and pie. We’ve watched enough football this past weekend that we’d probably qualify for at least a head coaching job in a local pee-wee league and now comes the inevitable; the Christmas shopping. All the madness that comes along with the holiday season, including the wintry weather that causes havoc going to and fro. Yes, as we move into December there is sure to be some major changes in temperatures, weather and makes for a mess to drive through… If that hasn’t happened already. (In Nebraska we’ve already had one good snowfall – and there’s surely more to come!)
Wintry weather can be tricky to drive through and every year without fail I notice three things. 1) People act as if they have never seen snow before, like it’s some strange phenomenon from the heavens and drive accordingly. 2) Just because you have a 4×4 doesn’t mean you’ll be able to stop as you fly by me after tailgating me for the last mile. 3) If there’s other cars stuck, I’m sure yours will too.
There are many things a traveling nurse must prepare for when driving in the winter, especially if you’re driving cross country. You as the driver need to take extra precautions on the road and you also need to make sure your automobile is properly prepared. Winter driving presents a number of challenges to both you and your car. Cold weather tests the limits of your car’s mechanical abilities. Treacherous driving conditions test your abilities as a driver.
Driving in the winter can end with unfortunate consequences… Either you’re stranded on some desolate highway or you’ve slid off the road and into a snowbank. Neither result is a good one and can be easily avoided by following some important tips for winter driving. Of course the best advice would be to avoid driving in winter weather at all costs – but if you must, please drive carefully and follow these guidelines provided by Weather.com.
If you’re headed somewhere with winter weather on your next travel nurse assignment, make sure to do the following to your vehicle before you head out.
- Get a Tuneup
- Check the Battery
- Check Coolant/Anti-freeze
- Repair any leaks in hoses, etc.
- Get winter wiper blades/check wiper blades
- Keep your gas tank full – helps for weighing down car and in case you were to be stranded, you can keep the car running to stay warm
- Fill washer fluid
- Carry sand bags – if your car is rear wheel drive and in case you get stuck, sand can help with traction.
- Snow tires or chains
- Carry supplies – food, blankets, reading materials
- Cell phone
- Keep your car clean of any debris and snow
- Drive slow/carefully