The nurse’s guide to dealing with dangerous driving conditions

Many hospitals have bundles to prevent negative patient outcomes. It’s just as important that nurses take preventative measures during dangerous commutes for your own safe outcome. Keep these safety “bundles” in your back scrub pocket for when you get stuck or start to slide.

If you get stuck:

  • Don’t spin your wheels.
  • Turn wheels side to side to push snow out of the way.
  • Lightly touch the gas to ease car out.
  • Use a shovel to clear away snow.
  • Pour sand, kitty litter, gravel or salt in the path of the wheels, to help get traction. Using the floor mats may also be helpful.
  • After checking the owner’s manual for approval, try rocking the vehicle. Change from forward to reverse and back, using a light touch of the gas until the vehicle gets going.

If your rear wheels begin to skid:

  • Turn the steering wheel in the direction you want the front wheels to go.
  • If the rear wheels begin to slide while you’re recovering, ease the steering wheel toward that side. It might take a few times of slightly steering back and forth to get the vehicle under control.
  • If your vehicle has an anti-lock braking system (ABS), keep even pressure on the brake. If your vehicle does not have ABS, pump the brake gently, and then more rapidly as the car slows.

If your front wheels begin to skid:

  • Take your foot off the gas. Put your car in neutral or push in the clutch, but don’t try to steer immediately.
  • The vehicle will slow and regain traction as the wheels skid sideways. At this point, steer in the direction you want to go. Then, return the vehicle to “drive” or release the clutch and slowly accelerate.

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