Yenra : Cars : OnStar Safety Security System : OnStar Tips for Staying Safe

Last winter, Wendy Kocin, of Havertown, PA, found herself and her family snowbound -- and stranded -- after an accident on a deserted road in the middle of the Allegheny national forest. Fortunately, help was just a button push away because Kocin's vehicle was equipped with OnStar, the industry-leading safety and security system used by more than two million people across the United States and Canada. Kocin pressed the blue OnStar button and was immediately connected to an advisor at the OnStar Center who alerted state police to her plight and her location.

Each year, thousands of women, either alone or with family, are caught on the road when the weather turns bad. Whiteouts, black ice and sleeting rain make winter driving extremely hazardous, but female drivers can stay safe with a little preparation. "Whether traveling on the highway or a rural side road, all drivers need to take certain precautions," advises Michelle Stoutermire, OnStar spokesperson. "Many women find that a system such as OnStar provides peace of mind because OnStar's advisors are available to respond 24 hours a day, seven days a week."

To help women prepare for the hazards associated with winter driving, OnStar offers the following tips whether or not you have an OnStar system in your vehicle:

Make sure your vehicle is winter-weather worthy. Check your battery, antifreeze, wipers and wiper fluid. Consider snow tires and keep your gas tank full.

Outfit your trunk with the following necessities: Windshield ice scraper, small broom for sweeping snow off your windshield, blankets, flares or red or orange cloth strips for signaling, snow shovel (foldable if possible) and small bag of sand (to help create traction under wheels).

Keep snacks and plenty of water in your car, along with maps or a road atlas, flashlight and extra batteries and first aid kit. Always keep a change of clothes and appropriate footwear and outerwear in the trunk, along with jumper cables.

Listen to the weather broadcasts and heed possible hazardous condition warnings. Be prepared to change plans if weather makes travel hazardous. And be sure to let others know your route and arrival time.

OnStar offers a choice of service packages to help keep drivers and their families safe and on the road this winter, and all year-round. OnStar's Safe and Sound service provides peace of mind that comes from automatic notification of air bag deployment, services notification for dispatch, stolen vehicle location, remote door unlock and roadside assistance. The package is currently available for $16.95 a month.

Subscribers who trust OnStar to guide them and direct them to more than seven million points of interest will benefit from the Directions & Connections plan. This package offers drivers all the peace of mind services available in Safe & Sound, along with route support, point of interest services and convenience services, such as hotel and restaurant reservations, all for $34.95 a month.

In addition, customers can choose to add OnStar Personal Calling or Virtual Advisor to any package. OnStar Personal Calling allows subscribers to make and receive hands-free calls from their OnStar system, while Virtual Advisor allows them to access personalized web-based information, such as location-based traffic and weather reports, by pressing a button and using voice commands. Subscribers simply purchase Personal Calling minutes to use either service of OnStar.