Sheriff Tim Parker provides these Winter Emergency safety guidelines as we close out 2017 and look forward to 2018.
Driving in Winter Conditions:
Drive slowly. It’s harder to control or stop your vehicle on a slick or snow-covered surface. On the road, increase your following distance enough so that you’ll have plenty of time to stop for vehicles ahead of you.
Know whether your vehicle has an antilock brake system and learn how to use it properly. Antilock brake systems prevent your wheels from locking up during braking. If you have antilock brakes, apply firm, continuous pressure to the brake pedal. If you don’t have antilock brakes, you may need to pump your brakes if you feel your wheels starting to lock up.
If you are stopped or stalled in wintry weather, follow these safety rules: Stay with your car and don’t overexert yourself. Put bright markers on the antenna or windows and keep the interior dome light turned on. To avoid asphyxiation from carbon monoxide poisoning, don’t run your car for long periods of time with the windows up or in an enclosed space. If you must run your vehicle, clear the exhaust pipe of any snow and run it only sporadically — just long enough to stay warm.
Protect Your Children:
Remember that all children under age 13 should always ride properly restrained in the back seat. Make sure car seats and booster seats are properly installed and that any children riding with you are in the right car seat, booster seat, or seat belt for their age and size.
Though thick outerwear will keep your children warm, it can interfere with the proper harness fit on your child in a car seat. Instead, place blankets or coats around your child after the harness is snug and secure.
Never leave your child unattended in or around your vehicle. Always remember to lock your vehicle and to keep your keys out of reach when exiting so children do not play or get trapped inside.
Navigating Around Snow Plows:
Don’t crowd a snow plow or travel beside it. Snow plows travel slowly, make wide turns, stop often, overlap lanes, and exit the road frequently.
The road behindan active snow plow is safer to drive on. If you find yourself behind a snow plow, stay behind it or use caution when passing.
When you are driving behind a snow plow, don’t follow or stop too closely. A snow plow operator’s field-of-vision is limited; if you can’t see the mirrors, the driver can’t see you. Also materials used to de-ice the road could hit your vehicle.
Snow plows can throw up a cloud of snow that can reduce your visibility to zero in less time than you can react. Never drive into a snow cloud – it can conceal vehicles or hazards.
Sheriff Parker states that speed is the number one cause of crashes during our winter months, slow down give yourself extra time for travel and enjoy the winter wonderland that we call home, here in Hillsdale County. Remember to check our Sheriff APP daily for a local road report! For additional tips go to www.nhtsa.gov/winter-driving-tips