Ohio State Highway Patrol

With the start of January, the Ohio State Highway Patrol (OSP) has shared some winter driving safety tips to keep motorists prepared for the winter’s potential inclement weather and hazardous roadways.

“The Ohio State Highway Patrol reminds drivers to winterize their vehicles and follow safe driving tips in preparation for inclement weather,” said Lt. Timothy Karwatske, commander of the Chillicothe Post of the OSP. “Winter weather can catch drivers off guard, but you can reduce the risks of being involved in a crash by making sure your vehicle is ready for the season, adopting winter driving techniques, and following general roadway safety.”

According to Karwatske, 15,676 crashes occurred last winter as a result of “snow, ice, or slush-covered roads in Ohio.”

“These crashes resulted in 26 fatal crashes, which killed 27 people, both down from the previous winter,” Karwatske said.

Allowing extra drive time and driving slower help reduce winter crashes, said Ohio Governor Mike DeWine.

“Planning, patience, and preparation can mitigate the hazards you might face while driving in cold weather,” DeWine said.

The OSP recommends the following actions before traveling by vehicle in wintry weather:

• Clear snow and ice from windows, headlights, and taillights

• Fully defrost windows before driving

• Once on the road, “go slow and increase following distances” as “bridges, ramps, and overpasses will freeze first.”

• Per Ohio law, headlights must be on anytime windshield wipers are in use.

• Should your vehicle becomes stuck in snow, “clear the tailpipe free of all snow and debris to decrease the chance of carbon monoxide poisoning.”

“During winter weather motorists need to slow down and use extra caution,” said Karwatske. “Remaining calm and knowing what to do if you are stranded along the side of the road can help keep you and your passengers safe.”

Should your vehicle break down or become involved in a crash, the OSP advises the following: ”Turn on your hazard lights, move your vehicle as far off the roadway as possible, remain in the vehicle, and call #677.“

The OSP also notes that a properly stocked winter car kit should include an ice scraper, shovel, jumper cables, flashlight, warning devices, blankets, a cell phone charger, first aid kit, tow rope, water and food (for long trips), and the kit should be in the car at all times during winter months.

“It is also important to ensure your tires have plenty of tread, check your battery, and keep your windshield washer reservoir full,” said Karwatske.

For traffic updates and road conditions, visit Ohgo || Real-time Ohio traffic online at https://www.ohgo.com/

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