|Motorists should prepare for the expected hazards, such
as snow and cold conditions that can lead to icy roads, low visibility
and extended commuting times.
Because most Fort McCoy employees live off post, they likely will have
to deal with traveling on roads during less-than-ideal driving
conditions, said Randy Eddy, Fort McCoy Installation Safety Office (ISO)
safety manager. Installation employees have many resources available to
help them travel safely during the winter months.
Sgt. 1st Class Branden Harland
checks the front ball joints of a vehicle’s suspension at the
Fort McCoy Automotive Skills Center. Also observing the work are
Don Fisher (left) and Matt Winchell.
(Photo by Rob Schuette)
Preparing a winter preparedness kit will help take the surprise out
of any emergency. The kit should include such things as an ice
scraper/snow brush combination, small shovel, sand, salt or kitty
litter for traction, a tow rope or chain, blankets, winter clothing,
flashlights, jumper cables, first-aid kit, road flares or reflectors
and fire extinguishers.
Another good idea is to give vehicles a thorough tune-up. This
includes checking tires, oil grade, coolant antifreeze, battery,
heater system, hoses and connections, and belts. Air, oil and gas
filters, as well as PCV valves, should be replaced, if necessary.
Wiper blades also should be replaced if they display wear and
cracks. The Fort McCoy Automotive Skills Center, building 1763, can
support authorized personnel to do some of this work. The facility
is open Thursdays-Mondays. For more information, including hours,
Preparing a mental checklist also is important, according to the ISO
and Directorate of Emergency Services.
Check weather reports and road conditions before leaving on a trip.
Wisconsin road (winter driving) conditions are available at the
website http://www.511wi.gov/Web. Wisconsin winter weather driving
condition information also is available by text messaging or by
calling 511 from a phone with long-distance capabilities.
Drivers also should never drink and drive. Always have a designated
driver or refrain from drinking. Wearing seatbelts and properly
securing children in child safety seats also is one of the best
defenses against drunk drivers. Never ride in a vehicle with a drunk
If motorists encounter a drunk driver, they should keep a safe
distance from that driver and never attempt a personal intervention.
Instead, they immediately should report drunk drivers to area law
enforcement by providing the license plate number, description of
the vehicle, and the direction in which the vehicle is traveling.
When using cell phones, drivers should use either hands-free models
or pull over onto the shoulder of the road or into a parking lot.
In parking lots, motorists should travel slowly, drive defensively
and be patient, Eddy said. They should be cautious and watch for
illuminated taillights to indicate vehicles backing out of a parking
Having good visibility is a key to safe winter driving. Windows,
headlights and mirrors should be kept free of snow. Maintaining good
visibility can help motorists avoid or, at least, slow down when
encountering potential hazardous areas, such as a curve or bridge.
Traffic obstacles/hazards caused by inclement weather often can be
avoided by delaying travel, when possible. The trips can be made at
a later, more-convenient time when weather conditions may improve.
For more information about safety in the Fort McCoy community, call
608-388-3403 or visit the Safety Section on the Fort McCoy Extranet,
which is accessible through the Fort McCoy Corporate Network or from
the public website
www.mccoy.army.mil with the use of a common access card.