Expect the unexpected when traveling by car in Eagle County | VailDaily.com

Expect the unexpected when traveling by car in Eagle County

Dr. Drew Werner
Eagle County CO, Colorado

Although I am writing this article on a beautiful, balmy day in Eagle, it was just a few days ago my wife and I were passing chained up tractor trailers struggling to get over Vail Pass. Traveling the same stretch of I-70 only a day later, the road was dry and only dirty snow piled along the sides reminded us of our recent, more harrowing drive.

Dear Doc,

Could you remind people what to bring in their cars during travel in our unpredictable weather?

” Feeling the chill!

Dear Chilly,

Staying healthy is something we need to do wherever we are and whenever we travel. Even a short drive can turn into a long journey. Have you ever spent a few hours trying to cross Vail Pass or drive through Glenwood Canyon? It is the unexpected that we need to expect. As the Boy Scouts say, “Always be prepared.”

I am fortunate to be able to turn to Officer John Chiodo of the Eagle County Sheriff Department for his expert advice. Together we came up with the following recommendations:

– Even for short trips, plan on several hours on the road.

– Carry any medication you may need to take within the next few hours.

– Make sure you have water to drink for everyone you are traveling with.

– Snacks and healthy food are a good idea.

– Keep warm blankets in the car in case you get stuck.

– Have extra warm clothes in the car, especially gloves.

– Sand, a shovel and tow chains or a strap are a good idea.

– A cell phone (fully charged!).

– Have an emergency kit that includes:

1. Some signal device such as a red flag.

2. Flares.

3. Basic first aid kit (bandages, antibiotic ointment, gauze, medical tape).

4. Ibuprofen and acetaminophen in children and adult doses.

Other wise advice from Officer Chiodo includes:

– Remain with your car unless you can’t be seen from the road.

– If your car engine is running, keep the exhaust clear from snow and other obstructions to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning.

– Slow down!

– Remember, a four-wheel drive vehicle takes as long to stop as a two-wheel drive vehicle!

I’ve had the pleasure of knowing John and many of our truly excellent sheriffs, police officers and state patrol officers. We are very fortunate to have them. However, I’m sure you will agree that you’d rather meet them when they don’t have to turn on those flashing lights atop their cars!

Please keep your questions coming in! The only bad question is the unanswered one!

Let me know what’s on your mind, e-mail me at cschnell@vaildaily.com.

Your health is your responsibility! Health is our greatest asset and it doesn’t happen by accident. If something doesn’t seem right, or questions are left unanswered, don’t wait, call your doctor.

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