Keep yourself as safe as possible on Northern Virginia roads this season:
For Your Safety:
Keep your doors locked, safety belts buckled and children safe and secure in properly installed safety seats.
Don't let your gas tank fall below 1/3 tank.
Stay on main roads and highways, and don't forget your maps.
Pack a flashlight, blanket and a first-aid kit. In cold climates, pack extra warm clothing.
If you are going on a long trip, pack an emergency ration kit of water and nonperishable food items such as fruit or granola bars.
When stopping for breaks, never let kids go to the restroom alone. Always lock vehicle doors, even if you'll only be gone for a few minutes.
Carry a cellular phone in case of emergencies.
Do not stop to help a disabled vehicle. Instead, call for help from a pay phone or your cellular phone.
If stopping during night-time travel, choose a well-lighted, populated facility. Park where your vehicle can be seen.
If approached by someone while your vehicle is stopped, keep your doors locked and only roll your window down enough to hear what the person is saying.
If Your Car Breaks Down:
Move your vehicle off the road safely away from traffic.
Stay inside your vehicle, and make all passengers stay inside, too. Keep doors locked.
If you can't move your vehicle off the road, ask all passengers to exit the vehicle. when it is safe to do so and stand away from traffic.
If you must walk to a phone, keep your group together.
Raise the vehicle's hood, tie a white cloth to a door handle or use reflective triangles or flares. Warning devices should be placed far enough away from the vehicle to give oncoming traffic time to react. A good rule of thumb: 3 devices at 100, 50 and 25 yards from the vehicle - or 300, 200 or 100 feet.
Only roll down the window enough to ask any passersby to call the police.