Ohio Highway Patrol Tips and Reminders for Winter Driving

Medina – In December, Northeast Ohio saw what a strong winter storm could do and its impact on our roadways. The Ohio State Highway Patrol wants to remind drivers to follow safe driving tips and winterize their vehicles in preparation for rough weather. 

Ever-changing weather patterns in the winter can catch drivers off guard. You can lower the risks of being in a crash by ensuring your vehicle is ready for the season, adopting winter driving techniques, and following general roadway safety.

In the winter of 2019, there were 12,939 crashes on snow, ice, or slush-covered roads in Ohio. These crashes resulted in 17 fatalities. Unsafe speed by the at-fault driver was the reported cause of 21 percent of the crashes on snow, ice, or slush-covered roads.

"As we saw last month, winter weather can impact your travel plans, routes, and timing," said Governor Mike DeWine. "Watch the weather, leave earlier or later, plan ahead, and help mitigate hazards."

The highway patrol wants to remind you:

  1. Before traveling in snowy weather, clear the snow and ice from your vehicle's windows, headlights, and taillights.
  2. Allow defrosters time to work so you can see.
  3. Once you begin driving, go slow and increase the following distances; bridges, ramps, and overpasses will freeze first.
  4. Ohio law requires headlights to be on whenever the vehicle's windshield wipers are used. 

Below is the lastest Traffic Bulletin for the new year.

Photo: Ohio State Highway Patrol Medina Post 52

Also, if you're driving and get stuck in the snow, remember to clear the tailpipe free of all snow and debris to decrease the chance of carbon monoxide poisoning.

"Drivers should increase their following distances, have patience and be aware in winter weather," said Lieutenant Mark Neff, Medina Post commander, "It takes drivers longer to stop and turn. If you're stranded, remain calm."

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, cell phone charger, first aid kit, tow rope, water, and food for longer trips. It is also vital to ensure your tires have plenty of treads, check your battery, and keep your windshield washer reservoir full.

Below is a video of Tips and Reminders for driving safely this winter.

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