GEORGETOWN — The Georgetown Post of the Ohio State Highway Patrol is warning drivers about the dangers of driving in winter weather and is offering some tips on what drivers should do in the event of a vehicle break down or a crash.
During the winter of 2014-15, there were 24,747 crashes on snow, ice or slush covered roadways, a decrease of 28 percent. These crashes accounted for 31 deaths and 6,676 injuries. Speed-related factors were reported as a cause in 67 percent of these crashes. To view a breakdown of winter crashes visit http://www.statepatrol.ohio.gov/doc/Winter_Driving_Bulletin_2015.pdf
In the event of inclement weather, the Patrol is urging 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 takes 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,” explained Lieutenant Randy L. McElfresh, commander of the Georgetown Post.
Troopers further suggest that if you get stuck in snow, make sure that your tail pipe is free of all snow and debris to decrease your chance of carbon monoxide poisoning.
All 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 the Ohio Department of Transportation’s website, www.ohgo.com.