Winter Driving Tips in Maine
By Sgt. Bobbie Pelletier
If you find yourself hitting the roads during adverse weather conditions, consider these driving tips to stay safe during your journey:
- Inspect your vehicle. Make sure you have adequate tires on the front and rear of your vehicle with good winter tire tread. Check your tire’s air pressure to make sure it is adequate.
- Make sure your vehicle and windows are clear of snow and ice. Maintain good visibility of the road and of others. Check your windshield wipers and replace them if needed.
- Drive slowly. A good rule of thumb is to reduce speed by 50 percent in snowy and icy conditions. Leave enough distance between you and the vehicle in front of you in case you need to brake unexpectedly. Make sure you plan your trip accordingly and give yourself some extra time to reach your destination safely.
- Pack a winter travel safety kit. Include a cell phone, ice scraper and brush, tow rope, blanket, flashlight with good batteries, lock de-icer, matches, and even some snacks and water in case you get stranded along your way.
- Keep a light touch on the controls. Smooth operation is the key to keeping control in slippery situations. Nervousness can lead to a hard clench on the steering wheel, which can result in loss of control. Consciously loosen your grasp or stretch out your fingers from time to time to help prevent that white-knuckled grip.
- Know how to recover from skids. When braking on a slippery road, it’s all too easy to “lock up” your wheels by stepping on the brakes a little too hard. If you start to skid, steer the vehicle gently in the direction you want the front of your vehicle to go and don’t touch your brakes. This used to be called “turning into the skid,” but tests have shown that drivers often misinterpret these words in real-life situations.
- If you get stuck, stay in your vehicle. Stay warm and wait for assistance. Don’t stand outside of your vehicle as another vehicle could lose control and skid in your direction. Stay in your vehicle for protection. Make sure that your exhaust pipe is clear of any obstructions, including snow and ice; if you don’t, carbon monoxide gas can build up inside the vehicle.
- Most of all DRIVE SAFE!!
Residential Burglaries and Motor Vehicle Burglaries
Article by Sgt. Bobbie Pelletier
Over the past couple of days some surrounding towns have been hit with several residential and motor vehicle burglaries. These burglaries occurred during the night time hours. It should be known that burglars are not always from the same town or area where the burglaries occur. We have seen in the past where some burglars drive to areas in surrounding towns and get out and walk on foot during the night time hours. Town residents may live in a nice quiet neighborhood, but sometimes these are the areas which burglars target as they know they are quiet and often property is unsecured.
Here are a few safety tips to help prevent crime in your area:
If you leave home lock all your doors and windows. Even if it is for a short time. Daytime burglaries are more frequent as burglars know that residents are usually at work during the day time hours.
- During the night time hours lock your doors and single level windows. Also lock the doors to your vehicles and never leave the keys in the ignition. People are out and about at night as the nights are warmer. Motor vehicle burglars typically do not target locked vehicles and they move on.
- If you keep valuables in your vehicle, store them out of plain sight.
- Leave outside lights on at night or install motion detection lights.Burglars do not like to be visible at night and often this can create a deterrence.
- If you go away to camp, go on vacation or leave for the weekend tell a neighbor. This is a good way to meet your neighbors and maybe you can return the favor for them if they go away.
- If you go away make your home look occupied. Connect interior lamps to automatic timers.
- Don’t let daily deliveries of mail or newspapers build up. Contact the post office or have a trusting neighbor or friend pick them up for you.
- Arrange your lawn to be mowed if you are going away for an extended period of time.
- Always lock your garages, shed and basement windows.
- Never leave notes on your door such as “gone shopping”, “gone for the weekend”, etc.
- If you observe suspicious people, vehicles or activity, report it to the police immediately. Write down license plate numbers and descriptions. Do not wait! You have to be the eyes in your neighborhood.
- If you notice a burglary report it immediately. Do not enter your home or vehicle. Do not touch or clean up anything. Call from a cell phone or a neighbor’s residence. Wait for the police to arrive.
If you follow some of these tips you are less likely to become a victim. DON’T BE A VICTIM! If you SEE something, SAY something!