FRANKFORT, Ky. - With the onset of winter and the possibility that motorists may have to drive in inclement weather, the Kentucky State Police are offering safe driving tips.
The weather in Kentucky is unpredictable and this time of year you never know when to expect black ice, snow, icy roads or a mixture of road conditions. KSP is asking motorists to prepare in advance for the winter driving months ahead. “Winter provides new challenges and responsibilities to the public and the Kentucky State Police,” says KSP Commissioner Rodney Brewer.
“We ask that drivers be prepared to meet the challenges of the upcoming winter season in Kentucky. Plan ahead, make sure everyone in the vehicle is properly restrained, drive defensively and be sure the vehicle is properly maintained to handle the effects of cold temperatures.”
KSP reported that slippery roads were the contributing factor in 14,913 crashes and 63 fatalities in 2011.
Here are a few simple steps to help keep you on the road and less stressed.
• Avoid travel unless necessary when winter weather is in your area.
• Decrease speed.
• Wear your seatbelt.
• Leave early – allow more travel time; expect delays.
• Increase distance between vehicles – it takes significantly longer to stop on snow covered or icy roadways.
• Clear all windows on your vehicle prior to travel – having unobstructed vision is vital to avoid running off of the road or having a collision.
• Illuminate your vehicles headlamps.
• Use caution on bridges and overpasses as they susceptible to freezing before roadways.
• Avoid using cruise control – cruise can cause the vehicle’s wheels to continue turning on a slippery surface when speed needs to be decreased.
• Ensure your vehicle has a full tank of gas in the event you are stranded for an extended period of time.
• Charge your cellular phone prior to departure.
• Take a blanket.
• Notify a family member or a friend of your travel plans prior to departure – if you travel is interrupted, someone will know
• Be patient – weather also limits our capabilities and increases our response time; also, keep in mind that we will be experiencing a high volume of requests for service.
• Attempt to move your vehicle out of the roadway if you are involved in a minor, non-injury traffic collision; especially if you are in a dangerous area such as a curve or a blind hill.
• If your vehicle is stranded or wrecked but not in the roadway, attempts to recover your vehicle will have to wait until conditions improve for safety considerations.
Citizens can contribute to highway safety by reporting erratic drivers to the Kentucky State Police toll-free at 1-800-222-5555. Callers will remain anonymous and should give a description of the vehicle, location, direction of travel and license number if possible.