LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - Kentuckians are being dealt a wintery forecast to kick off the Thanksgiving holiday travel weekend. KSP is asking motorists to be aware that weather conditions may change rapidly over the four-day holiday.
“Winter weather provides new challenges and responsibilities to the public and the Kentucky State Police,” says KSP spokesman Sgt. Michael Webb.
“We ask drivers to be prepared to meet the challenges of the upcoming winter driving season. Plan ahead, be sure everyone in the vehicle is properly restrained, drive defensively and ensure their vehicle is properly maintained to handle the effects of cold temperatures.”
KSP reports that slippery roads were the contributing factor in 12,034 crashes and 72 fatalities in 2012.
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.
• Slow down.
• Always wear your seat belt.
• 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.
• Turn on your vehicle’s headlamps. Remove any dirt, mud or snow.
• Use caution on bridges and overpasses as they are 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 – bad weather also limits the capabilities of law enforcement officers and emergency crews and increases response time. Also, keep in mind that they 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.