November 10, 2021
Top Winter Driving Tip? Slow Down!
Richland County, Ohio — It may be hard to believe if you were enjoying the warm weather earlier this week, but Richland County may be looking at winter weather with possible snow flurries on Sunday, November 14, and freezing cold on Monday, November 15. Even if we manage to avoid snow, the low temperatures mean morning commutes both days may be hazardous with slippery road conditions.
Richland Public Health is reminding all county residents to get ready for winter driving season.
The leading cause of death during winter storms is motor vehicle crashes. Richland Public Health has prepared a “Winter Safety Tips” page that includes information reminding motorists of winter driving vehicle preparations, and then how to drive on snow and ice if you have to. It’s available by going to richlandhealth.org and typing “winter safety” in the search box or by using this link: https://richlandhealth.org/personal/winter-safety-tips/.
“The most important thing to remember is to slow down,” says Reed Richmond, Health Education and Communications Specialist at Richland Public Health and a veteran instructor in the AARP Senior Driver Safety Program. “If you have to drive, drive slower and show adequate caution.”
Richmond added that allowing more distance to stop is also essential. “People need to remember that even if you have four-wheel or all-wheel drive that doesn’t translate to quicker stopping. In fact, because of their added weight, pickup trucks and SUVs may need longer to stop on ice or snow than a passenger car.”
Richmond added a few quick tips from the AARP Driver Safety workbook:
- Make sure your tires have adequate tread
- Make sure your car is ready for winter with proper level of anti-freeze
- Keep windows and headlights free of snow and ice
- Reduce speed and increase your following distance (and thus stopping distance)
- Remember bridges and shaded areas ice first and retain ice longer than roadways
- Know that an icy road is more slippery at 32° than at lower temperatures
Richmond says the most important safety measures apply to driving at any time of the year: always wear your seat belt, never use your cell phone while driving, and never drive after drinking alcohol.
The Winter Safety Tips at Richland Public Health are not just about driving. There you will find useful information on:
- Preparing for Winter Storms
- Power Outages and Indoor Heating Safety
- Outdoor Weather, including how to dress for the conditions, recognizing and what to do about caring for hypothermia and frostbite
- Workouts in Winter Weather, and
- Winter Pedestrian Safety