Heavy snowfall forecast: Make sure you and your vehicle are ready

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In light of forecasted snowfall, Ohio State Highway Patrol is reminding drivers to follow safe driving tips and winterize their vehicles.

“Ever-changing weather patterns during the winter can catch drivers off guard. You can reduce the risks of being involved in a crash by ensuring your vehicle is ready for the season, adopting winter driving techniques and following general roadway safely,” they advise.

Last winter, there were 10,256 crashes on snow, ice or slush-covered roads in Ohio. These crashes resulted in 20 fatal crashes, which killed 26 people. Unsafe speed by the at-fault driver was the reported cause of 22 percent of the crashes on snow, ice or slush-covered roads.

“Planning, patience, and preparation are key to driving in winter weather,” said Governor Mike DeWine. “Before you start driving, we encourage you to check the weather forecast and plan accordingly so that you can safely get where you need to go.”

Ohio law requires headlights to be on at any time when the windshield wipers of the vehicle are in use. If your vehicle becomes stuck in snow, clear the tailpipe free of all snow and debris to decrease the chance of carbon monoxide poisoning.

If a vehicle breaks down or is involved in a crash, motorists should turn on hazard lights, move the vehicle as far off the roadway as possible, remain in the vehicle, and call #677 or 9-1-1.

The Patrol reminds drivers to stock their vehicles with a winter car kit that includes an ice scraper, shovel, jumper cables, flashlight, warning devices, blankets, cell phone charger, first aid kit, tow rope, water, and food for longer trips. It is also important to ensure your tires have plenty of tread, check your battery, and keep your windshield washer reservoir full.

For those who must drive in winter weather, visit http://www.ohgo.com/for real-time traffic conditions from the Ohio Department of Transportation.

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