Heading out to do some last-minute shopping or to one of the many special holiday events planned throughout the area?
With winter officially beginning Dec. 21, the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) encourages motorists to get ready, and during icy and snowy conditions, to “Take it Slow.”
ODOT fleet of snow-clearing equipment and crews are well-prepared for the 2009-2010 winter season and the department is asking Ohio motorists to be sure their vehicles are ready for safe driving during upcoming winter weather.
“Driving in winter weather requires preparation,” ODOT Director Jolene M. Molitoris said. ODOT safety experts suggest that motorists can commit to do their part by driving at a safe speed for the conditions, avoiding following too closely and by planning ahead for unfavorable conditions.
Knowledge: Before leaving home, find out about the driving conditions. Safe drivers know the weather, and their limits. If the weather is bad, remember, “ice and snow, take it slow, or just don’t go.”
Clear: Remove any snow on your vehicle’s windows, lights, brake lights and signals. Make sure you can see and be seen.
Inspect: Check your vehicle’s tires, wiper blades, fluids, lights, belts and hoses. A breakdown is bad on a good day and dangerous on a bad-weather day.
Time: Leave plenty of time to reach your destination safely. It’s not worth putting yourself and others in a dangerous situation just to be on time.
Last winter there were 44,725 crashes on Ohio’s roads; 3,415 people were injured and 80 people were killed. Excessive speed and following too closely rank as two of the main factors in crashes.
ODOT reminds motorists to slow down when approaching intersections, off-ramps, bridges or shady spots, because these are prime locations for black ice – a thin coating of clear ice that can form on the pavement surface during the overnight hours and can be difficult to see.
Winter driving conditions can change from mile to mile and minute to minute. And the first storm is often the worst, because many motorists don’t remember the winter driving skills they developed the previous year.
Up-to-the-minute road conditions are always available by logging onto BuckeyeTraffic.org. During weather events, road conditions are updated as often as necessary with information such as current weather, roadway surface temperature, general roadway conditions, traffic speed, and how many ODOT trucks are working in the area.