With the onset of winter and the possibility that motorists may have to drive in inclement weather, the Kentucky State Police offers some important safe driving tips.
Plan ahead, drive defensively, and be sure to keep your car properly maintained for cold weather driving.
KSP reported that slippery roads were the contributing factor more than 15,000 crashes and nearly 100 fatalities in 2008.
Highway Safety officials remind you to understand and remember how your car's brakes work in snow and icy conditions.
Here are some additional safe driving tips provided by the Highway Safety branch.
Winter Safe Driving Tips To Follow:
-Be Cautious About Travel
-Listen for radio or television reports of travel advisories issued by the National Weather Service.
-Avoid traveling on ice-covered roads if at all possible.
If you must travel, let someone know your destination and when you expect to arrive. Ask them to notify authorities if you are late.
-Check and restock the winter emergency supplies in your car before you leave.
-Never pour water on your windshield to remove ice or snow; shattering may occur.
-Never rely on your car to provide sufficient heat; the car may break down.
-Always dress warmly.
-Always carry clothing appropriate for winter conditions.
What To Do If You Get Stranded:
-Staying in your vehicle when stranded is often the safest choice if winter storms create poor visibility or if roadways are ice-covered. These steps will increase your safety when stranded:
-Tie a brightly colored cloth to the antenna as a signal to rescuers.
-Move anything you need from the trunk into the passenger area.
-Wrap your entire body, including your head, in extra clothing, blankets, or newspapers.
-Stay awake. You will be less vulnerable to cold-related health problems.
-Run the motor (and heater) for about 10 minutes per hour, opening one window slightly to let air in.
-Make sure that snow is not blocking the exhaust pipe-this will reduce the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning.
-As you sit, keep moving your arms and legs to improve your circulation and stay warmer.
-Do not eat un-melted snow it will lower your body temperature.
Prepare Your Vehicle For Winter:
-You can avoid many dangerous winter travel problems by planning ahead. Have maintenance service on your vehicle as often as the manufacturer recommends.
-Have the radiator system serviced, or check the antifreeze level yourself with an antifreeze tester. Add antifreeze, as needed.
-Replace windshield-wiper fluid with a wintertime mixture.
-Replace any worn tires, and check the air pressure in the tires.
-During winter, keep the gas tank near full to help avoid ice in the tank and fuel lines.
Winter Survival Kit For Your Vehicle:
-Cell phone and charger
-A can and waterproof matches (to melt snow for water)
-Bag of sand or cat litter (to pour on ice or snow for added traction)
-Tire chains (in areas with heavy snow)
-High-calorie canned or dried foods and a can opener
-Flashlight and extra batteries
-Canned compressed air with sealant (for emergency tire repair)
-Brightly colored cloth
You can contribute to highway safety by reporting erratic drivers to the Kentucky State Police at 1-800-222-5555.