Safety & Accident

Safety Tip: Not Choosing the Road Less Traveled

December 26, 2016

<p><em>Photo by the Oregon Department of Transportation via Wikimedia Commons.</em></p>

Photo by the Oregon Department of Transportation via Wikimedia Commons.

VIDEO: GPS Leaves Family Stranded

During snowstorms, navigation apps and systems sometimes lead drivers down the wrong path — to less traveled side streets or remote roads that are routinely the last ones to see a snow plow.

Shortcuts can be real time-savers in good weather, allowing drivers to circumvent traffic congestion on thoroughfares. But during heavy snowfall, a shortcut might leave you stranded and waiting for help for hours. That’s what happened to a number of Oregon drivers earlier this month. (To view a video about one family's experience, click on the photo or link below the headline.)

If you ever find yourself stranded or stalled during a snowstorm, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration offers this advice:

  • Stay with your vehicle and don’t overexert yourself.
  • Put bright markers on the antenna or windows and keep the interior dome light turned on.
  • To avoid asphyxiation from carbon monoxide poisoning, don’t run your car for long periods of time with the windows up or in an enclosed space. If you must run your vehicle, clear the exhaust pipe of any snow and run it only sporadically — just long enough to stay warm.

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