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Winter Weather Road Safety Tips

December 10, 2016

As the winter weather season approaches, HSV Police Chief Ricky Middleton reminds residents to consider the following wintery weather road-safety tips.

Middleton advises residents to stay off the roads when they are covered with ice and snow. “Only go out if absolutely necessary, and be sure to take appropriate precautions if you have to go out.” He said residents should dress warmly, taking along a coat, gloves and hat, in case an emergency would require getting out into wintry conditions. He also advises keeping a blanket and cell phone in the car. “Use common sense,” he said. “If you can’t drive on ice; don’t!”

Middleton encouraged residents to consider the following driving tips from the Arkansas State Police.

  • Check the road conditions on the State of Arkansas website at www.arkansas.gov for roads in your area, and stay tuned to local news broadcasts for more information on roadway and weather conditions.
  • Drive slowly and remember posted speed limits identify the maximum speed allowed in ideal weather conditions. Law enforcement agencies can write citations to motorists driving the posted speed limit if weather conditions warrant a slower speed.
  • You and your passengers should all use safety belts, both lap and shoulder straps.
  • Adjust head rests. Rear-end collisions are common in winter driving and a properly-adjusted head rest can prevent or reduce neck injuries.
  • Don’t use a cellular phone when driving on ice or snow. Even if you have a hands-free model, you need to concentrate on driving, not on a telephone conversation.
  • Don’t pass snow plows and sanding trucks. The drivers have limited visibility, and you’re likely to find the road in front of them worse than the road behind.
  • Remove snow and ice from vehicle before driving, making sure the headlights and taillights are visible.
  • Accelerate slowly.
  • Increase following distance.
  • Brake gently in slow, steady strokes, and begin braking early when approaching intersections or stops.
  • Approach bridges, shaded spots, overpasses and turns slowly.
  • Never use cruise control in winter driving conditions.
  • Use non-freezing windshield washer liquid.
  • Use snow tires and/or studded tires or chains.
  • Last but certainly not least; if you do not have to travel – DON’T! Stay at home if at all possible.

For more information or questions, please call the Police Department at 501-922-0011.

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