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Patrol offers winter driving tips, warnings

MARYSVILLE — The Marysville Post of the Ohio State Highway Patrol is warning drivers about the dangers of driving in winter weather and is offering some tips on what drivers should do in the event of a vehicle break-down or crash.

 Raines

LT. RON RAINES

From December 2011 through March 2012, 15,526 crashes occurred on snow-, ice- or slush-covered roadways in Ohio, killing 27 people and injuring 4,529. Speed-related factors were reported as a cause in 72 percent of these crashes.

A total of 114 of those winter crashes occurred in Logan County.

In the event of inclement weather, troopers urge motorists to allow extra time to get to their destination, maintain a safe distance between their vehicle and the traffic ahead, pay close attention to bridges and overpasses that are often the first to freeze over, and to drive slowly, as actions such as accelerating, turning and braking take longer on snow-covered roadways.

“In case of a vehicle breakdown, motorists should turn on their hazard warning lights, safely position the vehicle as far off the road as possible, call #677 for assistance and remain in the vehicle until help arrives,” explained Lt. Ron Raines, commander of the Marysville Post.

Troopers further suggest that if stuck in snow, make sure that the tailpipe is free of all snow and debris, to decrease chances of carbon monoxide poisoning.

All motorists are encouraged to prepare their vehicle for winter driving by ensuring that the battery, cooling system, tires, wipers and defroster are all in working order. Drivers are also encouraged to carry the following winter car kit items in their vehicle in case of a breakdown:

• Cell phone with car charger

• Road flares or reflectors

• “Help” or “Call Police” signs

• First aid kit

• Flashlight

• Blanket/sleeping bag

• Small shovel

• Bottled water and energy foods

• Candles and matches

• Tow strap/chain

Up-to-the-minute road conditions are always available by logging onto the Ohio Department of Transportation’s Web site, www.buckeyetraffic.org.

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