Danger in a Winter Wonderland?

With the holidays in full swing and cheer all around, danger lurks as the dreaded COLD sets in. With its usual suspects, the winter months bring bouts of illnesses, cold extremities, and of course work-ceasing snowstorms! However, winter also unveils safety concerns that people tend to forget about until it is too late. Here at PTP we are all about SAFETY and preparing for the worst, so you and your teams can stay protected at work, home, in your vehicle, or wherever the season takes you! The following is just a few of many safety concerns to be on the lookout for this winter:


  1. Potholes! – If you have been driving a long time you may feel the pain of these. While they may just seem like nuisances, they are incredibly dangerous in the right conditions. Add some snow, rain, or simply not be paying attention to the road, and you could have some serious vehicle damage or worse an accident! Stay alert and make sure your teams who drive as part of their role are aware as well.


  1. Ice – We know the obvious trouble ice causes, and you definitely do not want to be the one that hits a patch and skids of the road or even walking and slip and seriously injure yourself. According to the National Safety Council, 25,000 slip, trip and fall injuries occur on a daily basis in the U.S. In the winter this amount is multiplied! However, sometimes detecting ice is not so simple. Black ice, an invisible layer of ice that forms when the roads freeze and blends in with the asphalt, is extremely deadly! Be cautious in shady areas where visibility is not great, as well as bridges and overpasses. If you get caught off guard by ice try and remain calm and keep your wheel straight, don’t brake, and stop accelerating!  Try to let the vehicle slow to a stop.


  1. Carbon Monoxide Poisoning – This deadly danger is often overlooked, which is usually how it claims so many lives each year. According to the CDC, Carbon Monoxide kills at least 430 people. This gas is colorless and odorless, and typically it is too late by the time you notice its effects. This is why it is so very important to install Carbon Monoxide detectors in your home on each level of your home. Never use your gas stove as a means for warmth! While getting warmth anyway you can in the winter seems like a great idea, it can cause more harm than good, and in many cases death. Drivers should never sit in an idling vehicle under the following conditions: in semi or total enclosed spaces, or if the tailpipe is covered by snow. Also note that starting and stopping a vehicle is worse than letting it run, in regards to Carbon Monoxide build-up. Good news is you can even get Carbon Monoxide detectors for the vehicle!


  1. Mechanical Troubles – With snowstorms and bad road conditions ANYTHING is possible. Plan ahead and prepare for the worst! Keep your gas tank full to avoid ice in the lines and tank. Bring snacks, water, and blankets in case you get stuck! Prepare emergency kits for first aid and for unexpected mechanical failures, including items like jumper cables. Keep tires appropriately inflated.


  1. Reduced Visibility and Longer Stopping Times – Whether you are driving or walking, winter can lessen how well you can see where you are going. People most often think of snow or fog, however in winter there are also less hours of daylight and icy windows to be dealt with. Make sure your headlights are on while driving and using turning signals is very important to other drivers, pedestrians, and yourself. These are even more important to remember when visibility is low. If a big snow storm hits, make sure to clear snow from your car, roof and headlights especially! If you are a pedestrian, do not assume a driver sees you, and take extra precautions to make sure you stay safe, like wearing reflective or bright colored clothes to stand out in the dark or snow.


  1. Vehicle Maintenance – Make sure to top off fluids, change your oil, check antifreeze, you’re your battery, secure loose parts, replace wipers (which are critical to have working properly in inclement weather), as well as inspecting your tires, clearing snow and making sure your headlights are cleared. Also, be aware that wildlife and local pets will seek warmth under hoods, on tires, and in beds of trucks, so please check these areas before turning on your vehicle! It could save the animals life and it happens more frequently than you may think!


  1. Prepare to Slow Down – Prepare for longer travel times when inclement weather may cause hazardous road conditions. In addition to inclement weather, the holiday season brings out more people on the roads, resulting in increased traffic. Both inclement weather and the shopping season will bring out less experienced drivers as well, so always take extra precautions and stay alert. You may also experience Inaccessible roads or possible detours, so it is important to have several routes planned out, and to give yourself enough time just in case!


  1. Plan Ahead – The best defense if to be prepared for what you will encounter on the road. Check weather reports for the day of travel in advance and before you leave. If traveling across several regions or states be sure to check the weather reports for each area you will be heading into.


Since SAFETY is PTP’s top priority, we urge everyone to be DILIGENT and be SMART this winter!




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