OHSP urges caution on roadways as winter season nears

Published 1:02 pm Thursday, November 19, 2020

LANSING — As snow begins to fall in some areas of the state, the Michigan Office of Highway Safety Planning is launching its winter driving safety campaign to remind drivers to slow down and use caution when traveling on slick and snow-covered roads.

Of the more than 1.5 million total crashes reported in Michigan from 2015-2019, 14.2 percent (220,526) were winter-weather related, according to the Michigan State Police Criminal Justice Information Center. Of those crashes on icy, snowy or slushy road conditions, 361 involved fatalities in which 402 people lost their lives.

“The goal of the ‘Drive Slow on Ice & Snow’ campaign is to save lives and decrease the number of serious injuries on Michigan roadways,” said Michael L. Prince, OHSP director. “By raising awareness about the challenges and dangers inherent in winter driving we hope to encourage everyone to reduce their speed when driving on slick surfaces and leave plenty of space between vehicles.”

This year, the OHSP is expanding its winter driving safety outreach by launching a new website packed with tips and useful resources. When drivers visit michigan.gov/WinterDriving, they can find advice addressing a wide range of cold-weather challenges, including: planning a safe route, how to control their vehicle, what to do in an emergency, passenger safety, tire tips and more.

The OHSP also is sending “Drive Slow on Ice & Snow” banners to more than 600 traffic safety partners throughout the state to promote winter driving safety in their communities.

“It’s a sad fact that when winter storms arrive, fatalities and serious injuries on ice and snow-covered roads are soon to follow,” Prince said. “After months of driving on mostly dry surfaces, it’s the time of year to remind everyone that driving in wintry conditions is hazardous, and drivers must take charge of their vehicle to ensure their safety and the safety of others.”

The “Drive Slow on Ice & Snow” campaign is supported by federal traffic safety funds.