MSP offers safe winter driving tips

November 19, 2014

MSPHART — With winter weather now upon us, the Michigan State Police is reminding motorists to be aware of several factors during winter driving.

“Michigan weather is unpredictable any time of the year, but especially during the winter months,” said F/Lt. Jeffrey White, Hart Post commander. “The most important factor to remember is the handling capability of your car is drastically reduced in winter weather, so it is best to use a slower speed to compensate for decreased handling.”

Officers remind motorists to take precautions when stopping and turning in winter weather. Remember to do all of your braking before the turn is made and take proper line of travel through the turn to reduce the potential for a skid to occur. If your car begins to skid, let off the throttle and brakes and use a quick hand-over-hand steering technique to turn the front tires in the direction you want to go.

Safe driving tips:

– Turn on your headlights when visibility is reduced.

– Keep tires at the car manufacturer’s recommended pressure and routinely check tire pressure during cold weather.

– Keep windshield solvent at full strength and make sure the reservoir is full, and keep new wiper blades on front and rear wipers, if so equipped.

– Wash your car for better visibility to other drivers, and remove ice and snow from all lights, windows and the license plate before driving.

– Periodically check all lights and replace when necessary.

– Prepare a winter driving survival kit with items such as: an extra winter coat, pants, hat, boots and gloves; a flashlight with batteries; candle and candle holder; dry container of matches; jumper cables; tow strap; first aid kit; shovel; salt or kitty litter; road flares; and a spare tire and jack.

– If you are stranded in a winter storm, do not leave your vehicle. Stay with the vehicle and wait for help.

The public can access weather and road conditions by calling the MSP Travel Hotline at 1-800-381-8477.

The story is brought to you by Springstead Law Offices, with locations in Hart and Fremont, 231-873-4022 (Hart),