LIMA — The Ohio State Highway Patrol reminds drivers to winterize their vehicles and follow safe driving tips in preparation for inclement weather.
Last winter there were 15,676 crashes on snow, ice or slush-covered roads in Ohio, according to a press release issued by the patrol. Those crashes resulted in 26 fatal crashes which killed 27 people.
“Allowing extra time to get to your destination and reducing your speed are fundamental tips for safe winter driving,” Gov. Mike DeWine said in the prepared statement. “Planning, patience and preparation can mitigate the hazards you might face while driving in cold weather.”
Ohio law requires headlights to be on at any time when the windshield wipers of the vehicle are in use. If 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 Lt. Tim Grigsby, commander at the Lima patrol post. “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.”
If your vehicle breaks down or you are involved in a crash, turn on your hazard lights, move your vehicle as far off the roadway as possible, remain in the vehicle and call #677.
The patrol reminds drivers to stock their vehicles with a winter car kit that includes an ice scraper, shovel, jumper cables, flashlight, warning devices, blankets, cellphone charger, first aid kit, tow rope, water and food for longer trips. It is also important to ensure your tires have plenty of tread, check your battery, and keep your windshield washer reservoir full.
A winter driving traffic safety bulletin can be found online at: https://statepatrol.ohio.gov/links/Winter_Driving_Bulletin_2020.pdf