Ice and snow? Take it slow!
NOVEMBER 24, 2008
As the Winter Wonderland that is Michigan again returns, Secretary
of State Terri Lynn Land and the Michigan Sheriffs' Association remind
motorists to prepare for
hazardous driving conditions.
"Winter is a great time to experience Michigan's beautiful outdoors, but
without enough caution, snow and ice can make even short trips dangerous," Land
said. "Drivers should take a moment to make sure they're prepared and remember
to watch out for icy roadways."
Land recommends drivers check their vehicles to be sure they're in good
working order, such as having working wiper blades, and proper amounts of
antifreeze and window-washer fluid. Additionally, she reminds people attending
holiday get-togethers that drinking and driving is always a bad choice no matter
Terrence L. Jungel, executive director of the Michigan Sheriff's Association,
advised motorists to keep an emergency kit that includes a blanket or warm
clothes, a flashlight, jumper cables, tow rope, shovel, and a bag of sand or cat
litter for traction.
"Too often deputies who respond to accident scenes find the driver or
passengers are not prepared for winter weather, such as not being dressed for
freezing temperatures or not having the right equipment to help themselves,"
Jungel said. "A fun winter outing can quickly become miserable, or even
life-threatening, if your vehicle gets stuck or breaks down far from help."
To avoid sliding off the road, drivers should reduce their speed, allow for
more room to stop, and brake gently to prevent skidding.
If the vehicle does get stuck, drivers should not spin their wheels, as that
only digs the tires in deeper. Instead, use a shovel to dig out around the
wheels and undercarriage, and turn the steering wheel from side to side to clear
away snow from the front tires. Then, gently ease the vehicle out. If that
doesn't work, try rocking the vehicle by shifting into forward and giving it
some gas and then quickly shifting it into reverse and accelerating until the
vehicle is free.
Additional information about traffic safety is available at
Safe Driving Tips for Winter