2012-11-22 / Community

OHSP: ‘Slow down’ this winter

U.P. drivers found to have more accidents

LANSING – A new traffic safety campaign encourages U.P. drivers to slow down in snow or icy driving conditions to reduce weather-related crashes, injuries and traffic deaths. The effort will be focused in the U.P. because of the area’s history of the longest and harshest winter driving conditions in the state.

Sponsored by the Michigan Office of Highway Safety Planning the effort is supported with federal traffic safety funds. The campaign includes radio and TV public service announcements and flyers.

“It doesn’t matter how long you’ve been driving or what vehicle you drive, slowing down is key to avoiding a weather-related crash,” said Michael L. Prince, OHSP director.

The majority of winter driving crashes can be attributed to drivers going too fast for the roadway conditions. When this happens, drivers can lose control and begin to leave the roadway.

A five-year review of U.P. crash statistics indicated:

-Men and women are equally involved in winter weather crashes

-Most crashes involve drivers 41 and older

-Weather-related crashes are focused in Houghton, Marquette and Alger counties

The campaign’s TV ads were shot during a major U.P. snowstorm earlier this year. The ads can be viewed at www.youtube.com/ohsp. In addition to the ads, weatherrelated informational flyers will be distributed throughout the U.P. The flyer myths and facts include:

Myth: The lower the temperature, the more slippery the road.

Fact: Roads are most slippery when the thermometer hovers around freezing. Black ice is deadly.

Myth: “When it starts snowing, I give myself an extra car length to stop.”

Fact: It can take up to 10 times longer to stop in snowy or icy weather. Look ahead and begin braking well in advance of an intersection.

Myth: “Using my cruise control during the winter is no big deal.”

Fact: A sudden loss of traction could cause your wheels to slip, making the car skid. In winter months, keep cruise control off.

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