Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

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Opinion

February 5, 2014

Slow down and be safe

This winter is turning out to be one we all will remember. We’ll be struggling to go about our daily responsibilities again today, with anywhere from 7 to 12 inches of snow clogging the roads.

Troopers of the Indiana State Police Peru Post responded to 85 calls in 36 hours during our last big snow event beginning Jan. 5. So we remind motorists to slow down today and allow plenty of stopping distance if travel is necessary.

Considering many of us were out on the roads Tuesday evening as the season’s second major snowfall rolled in, it’s a good time to review winter driving safety:

AAA Motor Club offers this refresher on driving in snow and ice:

• Drive slowly. Everything takes longer on snow-covered roads.

• The normal dry-pavement following distance of two to three seconds should be increased to eight to 10 seconds. This increased margin of safety in front will provide the longer distance needed if you have to stop.

• Know your brakes. Whether you have antilock brakes or not, the best way to stop is threshold braking. Keep the heel of your foot on the floor and use the ball of your foot to apply firm, steady pressure on the brake pedal.

• Don’t stop if you can avoid it. There’s a big difference in the amount of inertia it takes to start moving from a full stop vs. how much it takes to get moving while still rolling. If you can slow down enough to keep rolling until the stoplight changes, do it.

• Don’t power up hills. Applying extra gas on snow-covered roads just starts your wheels spinning. As you reach the crest of the hill, reduce your speed and proceed down hill as slowly as possible.

• Don’t stop going up a hill. There’s nothing worse than trying to get moving up a hill on an icy road. Get some inertia going on a flat roadway before you take on the hill.

• Stay home. If you really don’t have to go out, don’t. Even if you can drive well in the snow, not everyone else can.

If you have to be out in inclement weather, slow down and be safe.

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