Patrol reminds drivers to prepare for winter weather
(Ashland) – Last month, we saw what a strong winter storm can do and the impact it makes on our roadways. The Ohio State Highway Patrol reminds drivers to follow safe driving tips and winterize their vehicles in preparation for inclement weather. Ever-changing weather patterns in the winter can catch drivers off guard. You can reduce the risks of being involved in a crash by ensuring your vehicle is ready for the season, adopting winter driving techniques and following general roadway safety.
Last winter, there were 12,939 crashes on snow, ice or slush-covered roads in Ohio. These crashes resulted in 17 fatal crashes, which killed 17 people. Unsafe speed by the at-fault driver was the reported cause of 21 percent of the crashes on snow, ice or slush covered roads.
“As we saw last month, winter weather can impact your travel plans, routes and timing,” said Governor Mike DeWine. “Watch the weather, leave earlier or later, plan ahead and help mitigate hazards.”
Before traveling in winter weather, clear the snow and ice from your windows, headlights, and taillights of your vehicle. Also, allow defrosters time to work so you can see. Once you begin driving, go slow and increase following distances; bridges, ramps, and overpasses will freeze first.
Remember, Ohio law requires headlights to be on at any time when the windshield wipers of the vehicle are in use. If your vehicle becomes stuck in snow, clear the tailpipe free of all snow and debris to decrease the chance of carbon monoxide poisoning.
"Drivers should increase their following distances, have patience and be aware in winter weather,” said Brad Bishop Post commander, “It takes drivers longer to stop and turn. If you’re stranded, remain calm.”
If your vehicle breaks down or you are involved in a crash, turn on your hazard lights, move your vehicle as far off the roadway as possible, remain in the vehicle, and call #677.
The Patrol reminds drivers to stock their vehicles with a winter car kit that includes an ice scraper, shovel, jumper cables, flashlight, warning devices, blankets, cell phone charger, first aid kit, tow rope, water, and food for longer trips. It is also important to ensure your tires have plenty of tread, check your battery, and keep your windshield washer reservoir full.
If you must travel in winter weather, visit http://www.ohgo.com/ for real-time traffic conditions from the Ohio Department of Transportation. The Patrol’s winter driving traffic safety bulletin can be found at: https://statepatrol.ohio.gov/static/links/Winter_Driving_Bulletin_2023.pdf.