January 5, 2017
Winter Weather Driving Alert: Drive to Save Lives
RICHMOND, Va. – Depending on where you live in Virginia, over the next two days you may only see snow flurries or be counting the inches of snow as it accumulates. Regardless, the Virginia State Police are reminding all Virginians of the need to drive to the conditions.
If having to travel during winter weather, drivers are reminded of the following traffic safety tips:
Use headlights. Increasing your visibility helps you to avoid slick and dangerous spots on the road, as well as helps other drivers see you better.
Slow your speed. Though state police works closely with the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) to identify problem areas on Virginia’s highways during a snow storm, drivers still must drive for conditions. Slowing your speed gives you more time to safely react and avoid a crash. Drive your vehicle based on your ability to properly maintain control of your vehicle.
Don’t tailgate. You need increased stopping distance on slick road surfaces, especially at intersections. Give yourself more space between vehicles traveling ahead of you in order to avoid rear end collisions.
Buckle Up. Most crashes that occur during winter weather are caused by vehicles sliding into guardrails, off the road or other vehicles. Wearing a seat belt protects you and your passengers from being thrown around the inside the vehicle and suffering serious injury in a crash.
Check Your Vehicle. Make sure your vehicle is in good working order for the conditions. Fill up the tank in advance. Check windshield wipers, windshield wiper fluid, tire tread, battery life, etc. Make sure to clear all windows and mirrors of snow before heading out.
Go Prepared. Don’t leave home without a window scraper, blanket, bottled water, snack, cell phone charger and flashlight.
For the latest in road conditions and updates, call 511 on a cell phone, go online to the VDOT Virginia Traffic Information Website at www.511virginia.org, or download the free 511 app.
Virginians are advised to only call 911 or #77 on a cell phone in case of emergency. It is essential to keep emergency dispatch lines open for those in serious need of police, fire or medical response.