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Winter Road Safety Tips When Driving in Israel

Growing up in a climate where it snowed over a foot, I was accustomed to snow storms that predictably happened every winter season. Every now and then, school was canceled. Otherwise, life moved on and the roads were clear within an hour. Although I live in Israel where snow is scarce, if not non-existent, it’s always exciting to hear about weather reports on the possibilities of snow.

And this time, that possibility became a reality as it snowed over the course of the week. Living in the Mercaz area (Tel Aviv, Petach Tikvah, etc.), you can’t expect much to see a flurry. Jerusalem on the other hand, was completely covered in white. Known for being the city of gold, it has now been dubbed the city of white.  Israel has been perpetually suffering from a draught. When it rains, let alone snows, that’s a legitimate cause for a national celebration. Well, almost.

Despite the cancelation of school followed by snow fights, building snowmen etc., there is a safety concern when it comes to traveling during winter.  Driving on icy and slippery roads can be perilous and there have been reports of casualties.  3 people perished in a car accident as they lost control of their vehicles. Injuries were reported as well.  Road safety should be taken into consideration when traveling during the winter season.

Even though it may not snow heavily in Israel, it is still necessary to take precautions when driving.One of the best winter driving tips is to be prepared. This is especially applicable when traveling/driving in Israel. You can avoid collisions and accidents if you are properly equipped. You should always give yourself extra time to reach your destination so that you're not a rushed driver. Before you head out, check road conditions and weather, and plan a route. Most importantly, prepare your vehicle for bad weather, which means having a charged phone to call 1-0-1 as well as an emergency kit. Recommended items include:

  • Shovel             
  • Sand or other traction aid
  • Tow rope or chain
  • Booster cables
  • Road flares or warning lights
  • Gas line antifreeze
  • Flashlight and batteries
  • First aid kit
  • Fire extinguisher
  • Small tool kit
  • Extra clothing, footwear and a blanket
  • Non-perishable energy foods
  • Candle, matches and a small tin can

The most important step to prepare for driving in the snow is to ensure your car has tires that are resistant to the snow and ice while ensuring that the rest of your vehicle is prepared for the season. This includes getting a maintenance check-up to avoid breakdowns while on the road, changing your wiper blades to enhance visibility, and installing winter tires that provide proper traction and handling through slush, snow and ice. Following these simple winter driving tips will give you peace of mind on the road and keep you focused on the matter at hand - driving.

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