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Sheriff Kleinhelter: tips for driving safely in winter weather

The temperatures are dropping and fall weather may soon give way to harsher – and potentially more dangerous – conditions. When roadways become wet or coated with ice or snow, driving can very quickly become hazardous.

“I want everyone to stay safe while traveling this winter,” said Sheriff Kleinhelter. “Weather conditions can change rapidly and when they do, it can have a big impact on streets and roads.”

Sheriff Kleinhelter offers these tips for staying safe while driving on hazardous roads:

  • Obey posted speed limits. If roads are very wet or have ice or snow on them, reduce your speed further.
  • Accelerate and decelerate slowly to avoid losing control.
  • Leave extra space between your vehicle and the one you’re following.
  • Avoid using cruise control during wintry weather.
  • If you should begin to skid on ice or snow, do not brake. Instead, steer in the direction of the skid so that when you regain traction you won’t have to overcorrect.
  • Drive with your lights on, even during the day to increase visibility.
  • Stay alert and be observant.
  • Make sure your vehicle is in tip-top shape and that your tires have good tread.
  • Keep a snow shovel and bag of cat litter in your trunk to help you dig out of a ditch and give your tires traction.
  • Assemble a winter weather kit for your trunk. Include blankets, bottled water, dried fruit and/or nuts, sturdy boots, and gloves. If you do get stranded, you will have some necessities on hand.
  • Do not attempt to text or use your cell phone while driving.

“Winter weather poses risks we don’t see the rest of the year,” said Sheriff Kleinhelter. “With some planning and extra caution, you can help ensure you arrive safely at your destination.


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