Muskegon Area Law Enforcement agencies encourage motorists to recognize that winter driving conditions (hazardous road conditions) do exist and to please take appropriate measures for safe travel during this time of year.
When it comes to winter driving, first take the obvious steps:
Clear snow and ice from vehicle windows, hood, headlights, brake lights and directional signals. Drive with lights on for best visibility.
If the conditions are too poor, do not travel if not necessary.
Buckle up best defense in a vehicle.
If taking a trip, tell someone at your destination of your expected arrival time and your travel route.
Taking a cell phone with you for use during emergencies; be sure the batteries are fully charged. NO TEXTING WHILE DRIVING-Talking on phone while driving in hazardous conditions greatly increases the likelihood of a crash.
Drive at safe speeds according to road conditions, and give yourself plenty of travel time. Be patient, there will be traffic.
Increase stopping distance between vehicles.
Use extra precautions when driving around snowplows by keeping at least five car-lengths behind plows.
If skidding, remain calm, ease foot off the gas and turn the steering wheel in the direction you want the front of the vehicle to go.
If vehicle has an anti-lock braking system (ABS), apply a steady firm pressure to the brake pedal. Never pump ABS brakes.
Headlights should be turned on when it is snowing or sleeting.
Do not use cruise control on snow/icy/wet roads.
Roads may be clear of snow and ice, but in extreme colds, ice can form that we cannot see. No matter what the conditions, drive at safe speeds and be aware a winter road can pose a danger.
Child safety restraints make sure child restraints are secured tight enough. It is recommended for parents and caregivers to use bulky clothes and blankets above the child restraint harness, not beneath, to ensure harness restraints fit properly.
Equip Your Vehicles
With a scraper/brush, small shovel, jumper cables, tow chain and a bag of sand or cat litter for tire traction. Blanket(s), heavy boots, warm clothing and flashlights are also important, as are storing high-energy foods such as chocolate or energy bars. Also have jumper cables.
Never leave your vehicle. Safest place to be is belted in your car.
Parents of teen drivers should make sure new motorists experience snow and ice driving in a safe environment, such as an empty parking lot. Important they get that training.
Be aware of visibility issues large piles of snow blocking intersections. Whiteout conditions and low light. Be cautious.
Look out for pedestrians, who could be walking on roads rather than unclear sidewalks. If youre walking, do your part to wear reflective gear and cross where its is safe.