The Car and Truck Fleet and Leasing Management Magazine

Fleet Safety Tip of the Week: What to Do if You’re Stranded on a Snowy Highway

February 13, 2013

This past Friday, hundreds of drivers in Connecticut and New York spent the night stranded on snow-blanketed highways during the snow blizzard. Some waited as long as 12 hours before they were rescued. The Long Island Expressway was particularly bad. The National Guard even had to use snowmobiles to rescue some of the motorists.

Of course, it’s important for your fleet drivers to check weather forecasts and heed travel advisories and bans. But you may want to pass along this advice, just in case they ever become stranded on a snowy roadway:

If your vehicle ever becomes stranded on the road during a snow blizzard, State Farm recommends the following action:

  • Pull off the highway (if possible), turn on your hazard lights and use a road flare or reflectors to signal attention.
  • If you have a cell phone, call 911 and describe your location as precisely as possible. Follow any instructions from the dispatcher.
  • Remain in your vehicle so help can find you.
  • Run your vehicle’s engine and heater about 10 minutes each hour to keep warm.
  • Open a downwind window slightly for ventilation and clear snow from the exhaust pipe to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning.
  • Don’t waste your vehicle’s battery power. Balance electrical energy needs – lights, heat and radio – with supply.
  • At night, turn on an inside light when you run the engine so help can see you.
  • Keep emergency supplies like road flares, a flashlight, blanket, windshield scraper, jumper cables, spare tire and a first aid kit in your vehicle or trunk at all times.
  • Keep your fuel tank at least 1/2 full at all times during bad weather.
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