LASATA: Drive slow on ice and snow

Southwest Michigan families know well that winter driving is simply a part of being a Michiganian. But by following a few simple yet important driving tips, we can all help ensure we reach our destinations.

The Michigan State Police and Michigan Department of Transportation each have a lot of knowledge and experience about safe winter driving and together offer a helpful list of reminders and tips.

First, it is important to make sure our vehicles are properly maintained and ready for winter driving. Ensuring tires have good tread and are properly inflated will help improve traction. Clearing windows, mirrors and lights of snow and ice will give you the best possible visual advantage. Keeping an emergency kit inside a vehicle could also be advantageous in the event you become stranded.

Once your vehicle is ready, make sure you are too. Take the time to plan out your route and factor the weather forecast and road conditions to make sure you have enough time to get where you’re going. MDOT’s MI Drive website is a great resource that features interactive tools, including a map of current conditions, slowdowns and closures. It even features live video from plow trucks as they work.

When it comes to driving on snowy or icy roads, maintain a vehicle speed that is conducive to the road and traffic conditions. This means slowing to a controllable speed, keeping further distance from the car in front of you and breaking sooner before approaching a curve, turn or stop.

Michigan winters can be unpredictable, so the more prepared we are the better we can meet those unavoidable driving challenges.

For more information on winter driving, visit michigan.gov/msp and michigan.gov/mdot.

I look forward to hearing your thoughts on the important issues facing Southwest Michigan. You can reach me at (517) 373-6960 or SenKLaSata@senate.michigan.gov.

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