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Old 12-17-2007, 12:56 AM
130 posts, read 130,053 times
Reputation: 59


If you're new to the wintry aspect of Central NY, I want to pass on my Grandfather's advice about cars, winter, and behavior... My Grandad was an old Vermonter...

1.) Keep an emergency kit in the trunck
Flares and a blanket are the most important. Flares because in case of an accident or one you come across--YOU'LL NEED THEM. "A Blanket" because shock, or just plain cold weather can make this important. Kepp your cell phone charged, and carry a charger in the car that you can "plug in" from the car lighter. Know to look for those "little green signs" on the road with a series of numbers-- (they're about 6x6 inch green signs)--those will tell rescue workers the EXACT location!!!

2.) If you come across an accident, and you're not an MD--don't act like one!
Don't move the person, don't let them move, unless there is grave danger. You may do more harm than good.

3.) If you travel secondary roads or the intersatste (ie--you're not always in suburia), have a bag in the back which contains: Boots, socks, gloves and a hat (I assume you're wearing a coat!) and gear that could get you through a mile-plus walk if necessaray. If you go off the road and have to walk, this may save you. I went off the road on Christamas Eve and discovered that ALL of the residents of Route 20 went to "family's house" (ie--they weren't home!) and I can attest to the fact that an hour walk in a snow storm will only be do-able with this gear!

4.) If you stop to "render aid" to another
Stay in a vehicle! If you are walking around in a storm, you can get hit by someone else! Either stay in you vehicle of (if appropriate), or stay in the other persons! DO NOT WALK AROUND BY AN ACCIDENT---YOU WILL CAUSE ANOTHER ONE!!!

5.) When the police arrive -STAY IN YOUR CAR!
They have no idea if you're a "bad guy" or a just a citizen. Make it easier for them, don't make them go into the "default mode"---JUST STAY IN YOUR CAR! (they'll come to you...PS--they appreciate this)

6.) Dry Gas
If you don't know about this, you should. It is a cheap (about $1) fuel additive for VERY cold climates which keeps the condensation in the gas tank from becoming a problem. There fore the car will start in the coldest of climates!!!! Ask your mechanic. For Fords, Dodges and all other American-made cars it's great. If you drive an S-Class, please consult your dealership....(I have no idea if it's ok, so I won't tell the German-driving folks it's OK.)

7.) Thicker Oil For Older Vehicles
If you have an older vehicle, thicker oil seems the way to go (others may dispute me here). I can attest to the fact that I still put thicker oil in my plow truck, and in the early 80's, my car was THE ONLY car on Killigton to "fire up" in the dead of winter. Depending on your car, you may want to look into this.

Also note that the State of NY has no *Good Samaratin Law*--people CAN drive by you (if you're off the road) with no reprocusssions... That may be why people "pass you by"... but on another note, it doesn't happen often in this region...

Personally, I refuse NOT to stop, unless I see the situation is just not safe...

As an example, I came across a car in a ditch, in the dead of winter... they'd just gone off because it was pitch black, except for their lights (facing the wrong direction). I had my 17 year old son with me, so I stopped and got on the cell phone before I got out. As the doors of the other car opened up, my son excaimed "Great Mom, you've stopped for a Neo-Nazi Convention!" As the doors opened up, revealing the inetrior lights of the car off the road that went on, it showed 4, 20-something youths with shaved heads. I locked the doors and contemplated hitting the gas... But then one of them called out MY NAME. It was a kid from MY CHURCH!!! They had all shaved their heads that week, because one of their fellow students at that high school had cancer and was receiving chemo--his hair was falling out--this car full of kids (and there were many others at school) had shaved their heads to try and make a statement about "togethereness." So I was looking at a car full of "skin heads..."

But this situation aside, it is better to use a cell phone, than to put yourself at risk.

Use this advice. It came to me from a man who was well into his 80's when he gave it to me, and live to be almost 100. It's free advice, but it served me well.
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