Fulton County Safe Communities offer driving tips

Winter is here, and Fulton County Safe Communities and local law enforcement agencies urge you to winterize your vehicles and familiarize yourselves with safe winter driving tips in anticipation of snow and icy road conditions.

“Northwest Ohio winters offer beautiful scenery and a variety of recreational opportunities, but they can also create some very challenging driving conditions on our roads,” said Fulton County Safe Communities Project Director, Rachel Kinsman. “Motorists can reduce the risks by making sure their vehicles are ready for the season, adopting winter driving techniques and following general roadway safety.”

Fulton County Safe Communities recommend the following tips for winter driving:

· Do not drive during ice or snow storms unless it is absolutely necessary.

· If you must drive, first clear the ice and snow from your vehicle. This includes the headlights and taillights, the windshield wipers, and all the windows.

· Allow your defrosters time to work before driving so you can see.

· Turn on your headlights when you turn on your windshield wipers. Ohio State law makes this mandatory.

· Drive slowly. Even if your vehicle has good traction in ice and snow, you must be prepared to react if other drivers’ vehicles start to slide.

· When sleet, freezing rain or snow begin to fall, remember that bridges, ramps and overpasses will freeze first. Be aware that slippery spots may remain after snow is removed.

An emergency kit in your vehicle is also a way to be prepared for winter driving. It is advised to stock your vehicle with snow shovel, broom, and ice scraper; an abrasive material such as sand or kitty litter, in case your vehicle gets stuck in the snow; jumper cables, flashlight, and warning devices such as flares and markers; blankets for protection from the cold; and a cell phone with charger, water, food, and any necessary medicine.

Additionally, Ohio law requires headlights to be on at any time when the windshield wipers of the vehicle are in use. If your vehicle has automatic headlights, make sure they are on, as they may not come on during the daylight hours.

For more information regarding Fulton County Safe Communities, contact Rachel Kinsman at 419-337-0915. Follow them on Facebook @FCsafecommunities and Twitter @FC_safecomm for safety tips, information and upcoming events.