Take care while traveling | VailDaily.com

Take care while traveling

Dr. Drew Werner

EAGLE COUNTY – Even the mildest mannered of us can turn into an armchair quarterback or a rabid sports fan on any weekend or at any game. It seems that the more we think of the next “big” game, the more distracted we get in thinking about how to get there, and what we need to get ready. Whether a WECMRD game, high school rivalry or trip to Mile High Stadium, travel is usually the order of the day. Does this sound familiar? “We should have known better.” That thought usually strikes a half hour from home driving through freezing rain and snow wearing short sleeve T-shirts and shorts. I hope you haven’t been there! I wish I could say I haven’t.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 be a journey. Have you ever spent a few hours trying to cross Vail Pass or drive through Glenwood Canyon? The point is, it is the unexpected that we need to be prepared for. (Part of that is the Boy Scout in me!)Unfortunately, common sense is not always common! I was fortunate to be able to turn to Rick Sliger, the Chief of the Eagle Police 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 & healthy food are a good idea.- Keep warm blankets in the car in case you get stuck.- Have an emergency kit, which includes: a signal device such as a red flag; flares; basic first aid kit (bandages, antibiotic ointment, gauze, medical tape); ibuprofen and acetaminophen in children and adult doses; keep 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!)Other wise advice from Chief Sliger:- 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.- Remember to slow down. – Remember, a 4-wheel drive vehicle take as long to stop as a 2-wheel drive vehicle!- If you are going away for an extended trip, let the police know so they can keep a watchful eye on your home.- If you are traveling any distance let someone know your travel plans and expected arrival time. That way, if you have trouble or are missing someone knows to send help.A final suggestion from Chief Sliger: Make sure to turn off your lights so your battery does not run down. It happens to the best of us! Thank you for your help!I’ve had the pleasure of knowing Chief Sliger and many of our truly excellent police officers, sheriff’s and State Patrol pfficers. We are very fortunate to have them here for us.Dr. Drew Werner of the Eagle Valley Medical Center writes a weekly column for the Daily. He encourages health questions. Write him by e-mail at editor@vaildaily.com or care of Editor, Vail Daily, P.O. Box 81, Vail, 81658.Vail, Colorado