16 - November 25, 2011 | Hudson - Litchfield News “Kn w Y ur Car”
It’s fall. It’s getting colder, the leaves are falling and winter is looming. Most likely, you haven’t given much thought to the road crews who are working this fall, preparing equipment and re- sources in order to keep roads clear and safe this winter. Keeping the roads clear and traffic flowing
when the snow is falling requires an enormous effort. It takes a lot of equipment - trucks, snow plows, snow blowers and salt spreaders. It also takes a good number of dedicated, highly skilled people to drive, maintain and schedule the equipment. And by definition, much of their work comes in the worst weather, so snow fighters can spend long hours behind the wheel in extremely challenging conditions. “The folks who drive the plows and spread the salt truly are winter warriors,” says Jerry Poe of North American Salt Company, one of the key companies that provide salt to highway transporta- tion departments. Poe, director of research and development for the Overland Park, Kan.-based company, says snow fighters have a tough, impor- tant job. “It’s business-as-usual for snow fighters to work throughout the night to get roads clear before the rush hour, and to work long hours over many days.” The safety issues provided by highway depart- ments that clear the roads are dramatic. Drivers face far greater risks of a crash when driving in a
snowstorm than when under the influence of alco- hol or drugs, according to the Salt Institute. In fact, studies by the Roadway Safety Foundation say that icy, slushy pavements cause 115,000 injuries and more than 1,000 deaths on America’s highways every year. Plus, those figures do not reflect the additional toll when snow and ice keep ambu- lances and fire trucks from responding quickly. Most transportation departments depend on salt to clear roads because no other product matches its combination of cost and effectiveness. Salt works by lowering the freezing point of water, slowing the ability for snow to turn into ice once it hits the salted road surface. Salt also breaks the bond ice has to the road surface, making it easier for snow plows to remove ice and packed snow. Winter driving risks are greatly reduced when
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snow is plowed and salt is spread. For example, a study by Marquette University found that effective snow fighting, including spreading salt on roads, reduced traffic accidents by 85 percent and injury- causing accidents by 88 percent. The study also found deicing with salt makes a difference within the first 25 minutes after the salt is spread. Snowstorms also impose enormous economic
costs. The potential economic impact of snow- storms in 16 states and two Canadian provinces can cost those governments $300 million to $700 million a day in both direct and indirect eco- nomic costs from the slowdown in activity when
roads are impassible, according to a study by IHS Global Insight. And nearly two-thirds of the direct economic losses fall on hourly workers, who are often the least able to afford them. The economic cost of a single day of icy paraly- sis is greater than the cost of fighting snow for an
entire season, says Poe. So the next time you drive on clear pavement after a snowstorm, remember the men and women who worked through the night to clear the roads and spread the salt.
- ARA Content Get Your Garage Ready for Winter
Colder weather not only has you shutting the windows and crank- ing up the heat, but also bringing all your belongings indoors to protect them from the winter elements. This means it’s time to get your garage geared up for the season. Making sure all your belongings fit is one thing, but this space houses your workshop, truck, big toys and, in some cases, the man cave where you escape for a football game or afternoon of hanging out with some pals. This is the perfect time of year to make your ga- rage the storage and hang-out space you need for those long winter months.
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your garage into a space that meets all your requirements for many years to come: * Clean it up. While the weather is warm, take the time to clean out the garage of anything not needed (broken car parts, duplicate tools, half- empty cans of paint or stain and even products you’ve outgrown) and find storage space for what’s left over. Purchase storage containers and shelving, or build hanging racks to help keep items off the floor and out of the way. Wash down the floors, scrub the walls and let it dry out before putting everything back in.
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* Protect your floors. After driving through the slush and snow,
your car or truck is going to be bringing a lot of sand and salt chemi- cals into your garage. As it melts, this corrosive mixture congregates on the floor, developing pockmarks and cracks in the concrete. Give your garage floor a protective coating like ASPART-X from LINE-X. It’s waterproof, abrasion and chemical resistant, and can be custom- ized to any color with the potential for color chips to be added in. It’s perfect for designing your man cave with the colors of your favorite team. And think of the concrete repairs you’ll save money on down the road.
* Maintenance is important. Sometimes just cleaning the garage
isn’t enough. You may need to invest a bit of time and energy into the electrical and - if included - heating as well. Replace all the bat- teries in your garage door openers, and clean the weather stripping between the door panels. Also have a heating professional check out your garage heater at the same time you are getting your home furnace inspected and cleaned. You don’t want to come out to the garage on the day the temps drop below freezing and discover the heater isn’t working. Winter will be here before you know it, sending all your equip- ment back into your garage’s protective custody. Try these tips to turn your garage into a great work space, storage space and poten- tial man cave to hang out with your pals.
Winter Driving Conditions Can Be Dangerous – Please Drive Safely
submitted by NH Department of Transportation, NH State Police, and the NH Department of Environmental Services As winter weather approaches, the New Hampshire State Police, Department of Transportation, and Department of Environmental Services remind motorists that driving during winter storms can be dangerous depending on conditions and driver behavior. Now is the time to start thinking differently about how you drive in winter conditions – before it’s too late. Prepare
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your vehicle by installing snow tires and an “emergency kit” that may include jumper cables, a flashlight, a folding shovel, rock salt, a first aid kit, emergency flares, and a blanket. Avoid driving
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during winter storms if possible. Drive more slowly in anticipation of slippery conditions, even if the roads do not appear to be slippery. Leave more room to stop safely. A four-wheel drive vehicle will not help you stop more quickly.
A top priority of state agencies is to keep residents and visitors safe. New Hampshire State Police, DOT, and DES are fully committed to this mission.
“Please respect road crews and State and local police while they are doing their jobs, and particularly during winter storms,” said DOT Commissioner Chris Clement. “They are out there in the worst conditions, putting their lives on the line for your safety.” Salting and plowing continue to be the best
tools available to clear the roads, but they need time to have any effect on the driving conditions. If you notice slippery conditions, please slow down and be assured that crews are working to clear all roads as soon as practical.
On the interstates and turnpikes, you may encounter “tandem plowing”. That’s when several plow trucks operate across all travel lanes to efficiently clear the highway. For everyone’s safety, don’t attempt to pass the plows, and please allow extra room behind the plows – don’t crowd the plows!
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