In advance of what the Farmer’s Almanac predicts will be a “biting cold and snowy” winter in Michigan, a traffic safety campaign encouraging Upper Peninsula drivers to slow down in snowy or icy driving conditions launched today.
This is the second year for the Drive Slow On Ice and Snow campaign that is intended to help reduce weather-related crashes, injuries and traffic deaths. The effort will be focused in the U.P. because this area experiences the longest and harshest winter driving conditions in the state.
Produced by the Michigan Office of Highway Safety Planning (OHSP), the effort is supported with federal traffic safety funds. The campaign includes radio and TV public service announcements and flyers.
“Slowing down in inclement weather is key to avoiding a weather-related crash,” said Michael L. Prince, OHSP director. “Be sure to leave extra room between your vehicle and the vehicle in front of you as it takes longer to stop on a snow-covered or icy roadway.”
The majority of winter driving crashes can be attributed to drivers going too fast for the roadway conditions. When this happens, drivers can lose control and begin to leave the roadway.
A five-year review of U.P. crash statistics indicated:
Men and women are equally involved in winter weather crashes
Most crashes involve drivers 41 and older
Weather-related crashes are focused in Marquette, Houghton, Chippewa and Alger counties
Most weather-related crashes occur in December and January
The campaign’s TV ads were shot during a major U.P. snowstorm and can be viewed at Youtube.com/ohsp. In addition to the ads, weather-related informational flyers will be distributed throughout the U.P.
According to the Farmer’s Almanac, well-known for its long-range weather predictions, winter will start in the middle of November with heavy lake effect snow by Thanksgiving. The brutality of the weather is expected to build as winter progresses.