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Tips for Winter Road Safety

Last winter, Wendy Kocin, of Havertown, Pa., found herself and her family snowbound and stranded after an accident on a deserted road in the middle of Allegheny National Forest.

Fortunately, help was just a push of a button away. Kocin's vehicle was equipped with OnStar, a safety and security system used by more than two million people across the United States and Canada. Kocin was immediately connected to an advisor at the OnStar center who alerted state police to her plight and her location.

Each year, thousands of women, either alone or with family, are caught on the road when the weather turns bad. Whiteouts, black ice and sleeting rain make winter driving extremely hazardous, but female drivers can stay safe with a little preparation.

"Whether traveling on the highway or a rural side road, all drivers need to take certain precautions," said Michelle Stoutermire, Manager of Diversity for OnStar. "Many women find that a system such as OnStar provides peace of mind because OnStar's advisors are available to respond 24 hours a day, seven days a week."

To help women prepare for the hazards associated with winter driving, OnStar offers the following tips whether or not you have an OnStar system in your vehicle:

  • Make sure your vehicle is winter weather-worthy. Check your battery, antifreeze, wipers and wiper fluid. Consider snow tires and keep your gas tank full.

  • Outfit your trunk with the following necessities: Windshield ice scraper, small broom for sweeping snow off your windshield, blankets, flares or red or orange cloth strips for signaling, snow shovel (foldable if possible) and small bag of sand (to help create traction under wheels). For more information on assembling winter safety kits, click here.

  • Keep snacks and water in your car, along with maps or a road atlas, flashlight and extra batteries and first aid kit. Always keep a change of clothes and appropriate footwear and outerwear in the trunk, along with jumper cables.

  • Listen to the weather broadcasts and heed possible hazardous condition warnings. Be prepared to change plans if weather makes travel hazardous. Be sure to let others know your route and arrival time.

Source: OnStar