USPS logo LINK — USPS employee news Printable

Drive safely

Tips to avoid wintertime accidents

Driving in winter weather presents unique challenges.

The Postal Service wants employees to drive safely during winter, a time of year that presents unique challenges.

Wet and icy road surfaces; longer periods of darkness; and poor visibility from snow, rain and fog create driving hazards during winter. To stay safe, here are some tips:

• Maintain your vehicle and tune up the engine for winter.
• Keep good treads on your tires.
• Make sure your lights function properly.
• Add antifreeze and windshield wiper fluid, if necessary.
• Replace worn wipers.
• Clear ice and snow from windows, headlights and the hood and roof of your car before starting out; repeat as needed.
• Keep an emergency kit in your car with the following supplies: sand or cat litter, an ice scraper or snow brush, a small shovel, extra clothes and blankets, and nonperishable food.

If you plan to travel in bad weather, monitor road and weather conditions by checking local news, traffic or weather stations or websites. Here are some additional tips:

• Leave a few minutes earlier so you have plenty of time to reach your destination.
• Wear your seat belt.
• Avoid distractions while driving.
• Stay alert and calm; keep an eye on traffic farther ahead so you have extra time to react to sudden changes in traffic flow.
• Maintain a safe speed for road conditions and keep a safe distance between you and other vehicles.
• Don’t use cruise control, because touching your brakes to deactivate it can cause you to skid.
• Avoid making abrupt lane changes; use turn signals well before you turn.
• Make room for maintenance vehicles and snowplows.
• Watch for black ice on slippery overpasses and bridges.
• Don’t use alcohol or drugs while driving.

If you get stuck in the snow or skid off the road, stay in your car and wait for help (if your car is safely out of harm’s way). Turn on the car heater to stay warm, but make sure your exhaust pipe is clear of snow.

The Safety Blue page has more information, including Safety Depends on Me videos on working in winter weather.