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Time to think about winter driving safety

The first snowfall on Lawrence County – though it was not much – should serve as a reminder to us that we need to start thinking about winter driving safety again.

Friday, December 28, 2001

The first snowfall on Lawrence County – though it was not much – should serve as a reminder to us that we need to start thinking about winter driving safety again.

The Ohio State Highway Patrol offers drivers these suggestions to help keep the roadways safe in the winter months:

– Maintain a greater following distances and travel at a slower speed. Icy roadways can triple stopping distances, so be sure to accelerate slowly to prevent traction loss.

– Ice on the roads may not always be visible. If your vehicle begins to skid on ice, resist the temptation to hit the brakes. Instead, take your foot off the gas pedal and steer into the direction of the skid.

– Always wear a safety belt to reduce the risk of a serious injury or death in a crash.

– Keep a winter car kit in your vehicle, including a set of jumper cables, flares or roadway reflectors, a flashlight and extra batteries, windshield washer fluid, a small shovel, an ice scraper, antifreeze, an instant tire inflator, a blanket, non-perishable food items, candles, matches, a "help" sign and a first-aid kit.

– Before travelling, check the patrol’s toll-free road and weather conditions hotline at 1-888-2OH-ROAD (1-888-264-7623) for current travel conditions for major routes.

By paying close attention to safety while driving, we can help reduce the number of serious accidents in Ohio this winter – many of which can be avoided with common sense.