Ohio Highway Patrol warns drivers dangers of winter weather - WOWK 13 Charleston, Huntington WV News, Weather, Sports

Ohio Highway Patrol warns drivers about dangers of winter weather driving

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Ohio Highway Patrol warns drivers about dangers of winter weather driving Ohio Highway Patrol warns drivers about dangers of winter weather driving

As temperatures continue to drop and the roads get slicker, the Ohio State Highway Patrol is warning drivers about the dangers of driving in winter weather.

From December 2012 through March 2013, 18,779 crashes occurred on snow, ice or slush covered roadways killing 42 people and injuring 5,253. Speed-related factors were reported as a cause in 56 percent of these crashes.  Troopers say this year's winter is off to a rough start again.

"In a little less than 24 hours we've had close to 22 crashes in Lawrence County alone due to the weather," said Sergeant Chris Smith of the Ohio Highway Patrol in South Point. 

In the case of an accident or vehicle breakdown, troopers say motorists should turn on their hazard warning lights, safely position the vehicle as far off the road as possible, stay in the vehicle, and call #677 for assistance.  

"We want you to stay in the vehicle and not wander around in traffic," said Smith. "People driving by have a tendency to pull in your direction and possibly hit you while you're standing on the side of the roadway."

Troopers also suggest that if you get stuck in snow to make sure that your tail pipe is free of all snow and debris. Doing so will decrease your chance of carbon monoxide poisoning.

Officials encourage motorists to prepare their vehicle for winter driving by ensuring that the battery, cooling system, tires, wipers and defroster are all in working order. Drivers are also asked to carry items such as cell phone chargers, road flares, blankets, and first aid kits in case of a breakdown.