Safe Driving Tips for Staying on the Roads this Winter
With the most recent winter storm has finished up, and safety while traveling in the Upper Peninsula is at the forefront of many minds. Michigan State Police troopers experience the same white out conditions on the roads as other drivers, and are always willing to lend a helping hand to those that get stuck. Though most troopers will tell you slowing down on the roads and leaving for your destination a little bit earlier certainly helps.
“If it’s cold, snowy try to be a little more cautious. Take a little bit of extra time to get where you’re going. A lot of the vehicles I’ve seen that are stuck, are quite a ways in the ditch, and require a tow truck to pull them out. Call 9-1-1 let them know that you’re stuck, where you’re at, so that they can get law enforcement or any other emergency vehicles headed that way.” – Colin Pennala, Michigan State Police Trooper
Additionally Trooper Colin Pennala says to keep a few key items in your vehicle such as extra clothing, sand or cat litter for traction, and a portable shovel. He also says to look out for emergency vehicles and tow trucks that are assisting other drivers.
“Make sure you get your winter tires on, and have them aired properly. Keep warm clothing in your vehicle, maybe some food and water, and something to do. If you’re driving down the road and you see law enforcement or tow trucks on the side of the road, slow down. Pay attention to the people on the road. If there’s somebody that has their hand up for you to stop, make sure you stop. And wait for them to signal for you to go.” – Colin Pennala, Michigan State Police Trooper
Trooper Pennala also suggested to check the weather before leaving for far destinations. Find a full list of items to keep in you vehicle below, and links to some more winter driving tips. Remember to stay safe, slow down, and have fun this winter.
Items to keep in your vehicle:
– Snow brush and ice scraper
– Warm clothing and/or a blanket
– Food and water
– First aid kit
– Sand, cat litter, or rock salt
– Spare phone charger
– Something to keep your mind occupied while you wait for a tow truck, like a game or puzzle book