Winter driving tips from state police

With wintry weather in the forecast, Kentucky State Police has released a list of tips to help you stay safe if you have to hit the road.

Trooper Stu Recke said in a news release Tuesday that KSP is asking drivers to keep an eye out for possibly stranded drivers. Recke says to call 911 or KSP at 1-800-222-5555 if you see someone stranded. 

Here are KSP’s tips:

  • Avoid travel unless necessary when winter weather is in your area.
  • If you do have to travel, call 511 for current road conditions.
  • Slow down.
  • Always wear your seat belt.

Driving Considerations:

  • Leave early – allow more travel time; expect delays.
  • Increase distance between vehicles – it takes significantly longer to stop on snow covered or icy roadways.
  • Clear all windows on your vehicle prior to travel – having unobstructed vision is vital to avoid running off of the road or having a collision.
  • Turn on your vehicle’s headlamps.  Remove any dirt, mud or snow.
  • Use caution on bridges and overpasses; they are susceptible to freezing before roadways.
  • Avoid using cruise control – cruise control can cause the vehicle’s wheels to continue turning on a slippery surface when speed needs to be decreased.  Same goes with diesel vehicles equipped with an engine exhaust brake.

 Be Prepared:

  • Ensure your vehicle has a full tank of gas in the event you are stranded for an extended period of time.
  • Charge your cellular phone prior to departure and keep a charger in your vehicle.
  • Take a blanket.
  • Notify a family member or a friend of your travel plans prior to departure – if your travel is interrupted, someone will know.

Collision Information:

  • Be patient – bad weather also limits the capabilities of law enforcement officers and emergency crews and increases response time.  Also, keep in mind that they will be experiencing a high volume of requests for service.
  • Attempt to move your vehicle out of the roadway if you are involved in a minor, non-injury traffic collision; especially if you are in a dangerous area such as a curve or a blind hill.
  • If your vehicle is stranded or wrecked but not in the roadway, attempts to recover your vehicle will have to wait until conditions improve for safety considerations.   

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