Local Uber/Lyft driver prepares for a potential New Year’s storm


WICHITA, Kan (KSNW) — The timing of this storm is raising some concerns. Many people are expected to be out and about for the holiday just as the freezing rain and snow hit Wichita. One ride-sharing driver isn’t putting the breaks on work.

Pat Kjelstrom is going on 5 years as an Uber and Lyft driver. While she enjoys having fun with her passengers, her top priority is getting them to their destination safely. So she, like many others, is prepared to hit the road during this storm.

“We do karaoke in my car; they’d be having a blast,” said Kjelstrom.

Kjelstrom said driving for Uber and Lyft on New Year’s is one of her favorite holidays to work.

“I always tell them ‘thank you for choosing as opposed to driving’ because they know they are going to go and drink why drive,” said Kjelstrom.

That’s one of the reasons why she’s willing to brave this weekend’s winter storm. She makes sure she’s prepared beforehand. She avoids highways where it could be slicker. Her car is also winterized and ready to go with an emergency kit.

“I always have an extra blanket in my car. I have plenty of drinks, some snacks in case something happens,” said Kjelstrom.

Curtis Palmer, a store manager at Kansasland tires, said before you get on the road, check your tires.

“Getting the tires ready making sure there is thread on the tires is going to be one of the top things and making sure they are all aired up,” said Palmer.

Also, make sure your battery is in good condition.

“A lot of the times when people have stuff that is on the way out during the summer, it doesn’t have much of a problem, but as soon as the snow hits, that is when you notice,” said Palmer.

Palmer said that most shops will be closed because of the holiday, so the time to prepare is now. Something Kjelstrom said will be essential going into the new year.

“Always on the lookout, my head is always going sideways like this and in the mirror, making sure no one is going to hit me in the rear,” said Kjelstrom.

It’s also a good idea to make sure your windshield wiper fluid is full. Also, have at least half a tank of gas in case you get stranded.

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