The tri-state will experience its first blast of winter precipitation for the season starting this evening and into tomorrow. Not only does snow and ice cause travel issues but now the influx of temperatures hold an area of concern for emergency responders.
It’s still too early to provide details on how much or how little snow will fall but it’s a great time to remind motorists of a few important tips as we transition into winter driving mode.
“We are asking drivers to be prepared to meet the challenges of driving in adverse weather conditions,” said. KSP Post 16 spokesman Trooper Corey King. “Plan ahead; make sure everyone in the vehicle is properly restrained and ensure your vehicle is maintained to handle not only the road conditions but the frigid temperatures as well.”
“Our troopers will be continuously monitoring all major corridors looking for stranded motorists,” King added.
The best advice is to avoid unnecessary travel when winter weather is in your area. However, if you do have to venture out, here are a few reminders.
Know the conditions before departure – In Kentucky, visit GoKY.ky.gov to see the reported conditions of your intended travel routes. Also, monitor your local media outlets and radio. Please do not call 911 to inquire about road conditions. You may also download the Kentucky State Police free mobile phone app which is available at Apple and Google Play Stores.
Clear all windows and mirrors – Having unobstructed vision is vital for time/distance management and to avoid having a collision.
Leave early – Allow more travel time; expect some delays as well as temporary road closures. Anticipate normal travel time to be up to five times longer, depending on the conditions.
Increase distance between vehicles – It takes significantly longer to stop on snow and ice cover roadways.
Use extreme caution on bridges and overpasses – Peaks and valleys, as well as shady areas, can typically hold spots of black ice.
Do not use cruise control (or exhaust engine brakes for trucks) – Cruise control can cause the vehicle’s wheels to continue turning on a slick surface, hence causing the vehicle to lose control.
Approach intersections with great care – Other drivers not paying attention might slide through red lights.
Signal all lane changes and turning movements – for other motorists to react to your anticipated actions.
Have a full tank of fuel – In the event of a collision or being stranded, emergency personnel may have longer response times. With frigid temperatures, having enough fuel to keep warm is paramount. Also, make sure your exhaust tailpipe is clear and free of any obstructions like snow or debris. This allows carbon monoxide to properly exit your vehicle and not back into your vehicle’s cabin.
Have a vehicle cell phone charger and a blanket – It is also a good idea to have a working flashlight, jumper cables and non-perishable food items, including water inside your vehicle as well.
Notify a family member or friend of your travel plans and intended travel routes – In the event you wreck or become stranded, law enforcement can retrace your intended travel path to save time and to achieve the best and fastest possible outcome.
COLLISION/SLIDE OFF INFORMATION:
Be patient – Bad weather also limits the capabilities of law enforcement officers and other emergency services. Also, keep in mind 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 blinding 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.
Furthermore, Kentucky’s Move Over Law states motorists MUST change lanes away from the emergency or utility vehicle if it can be done so SAFELY. If it’s not possible to move away from the emergency vehicle, motorists must SLOW DOWN and proceed with caution.
Vehicles included in the “Move Over” law are:
• Police vehicles
• Fire trucks and rescue equipment
• Highway incident-response vehicles
• Highway work vehicles-including snow plows
• Vehicle recovery equipment (tow trucks)