Though we’ve been fortunate weather-wise, cold temperatures and wintry conditions are just around the corner. The Ohio State Highway Patrol is suggesting motorist be prepared to stay safe in the event of a vehicle break down or a crash.
From December 2011 through March 2012, 15,526 crashes occurred on snow, ice or slush covered roadways killing 27 people and injuring 4,529, the Patrol said. Speed-related factors were reported as a cause in 72 percent of these crashes.
During inclement weather, the Patrol urges motorists to allow extra time to get to their destination, maintain a safe distance between their vehicle and the traffic ahead, pay close attention to bridges and overpasses – as they are often the first to freeze over – and to drive slowly, as everything including accelerating, turning and braking take longer on snow-covered roadways.
“In case of a vehicle breakdown, motorists should turn on their hazard warning lights, safely position the vehicle as far off the road as possible, call #677 for assistance and remain in the vehicle until help arrives,” said Lt. Kevin Thomas, commander of the Defiance Post.
Troopers further suggest that if you get stuck in snow, make sure your tailpipe is free of all snow and debris to decrease your chance of carbon monoxide poisoning.
Motorists are encouraged to prepare their vehicle for winter driving by ensuring that the battery, cooling system, tires, wipers and defroster are all in working order. Drivers are also encouraged to carry the following winter car kit items in their vehicle in case of a breakdown:
• Cell phone with car charger
• Road flares or reflectors
• Help or Call Police signs
• First aid kit
• Blanket/Sleeping bag
• Small shovel
• Bottled water and energy foods
• Candles and matches
• Tow strap/chain
Up-to-the-minute road conditions are always available by logging onto www.buckeyetraffic.org.