Drivers beware caution police

November 3, 2016

Cars in snowstorm

Cars in snowstorm

By John Raffel

The one to two inches of snow that blanketed the area last week served as a reminder that the new few months present challenges for drivers to see snow on the roads.
That possibility, Osceola County UnderSheriff Justin Halladay said, means drivers need to be extra cautious at all times as soon as they see potentially bad weather in the air.

“In a perfect world, I’d like people to slow down all the time,” he said. “Road conditions can vary and change, even in the summer depending on weather and rain and fog. It’s more than just road conditions. It’s also driving conditions, which lends you to visibility and all sorts of things.

“Individuals this time of year, and throughout the year, should not get comfortable in the summertime believing I can drive faster now. There’s really not a time when it’s safe to drive fast. What you need this time of year when weather starts to turn is be cognizant and aware of the things they can’t control like weather and road conditions. They have to be more aware of that now.”

Halladay said the sheriff’s department usually puts snow tires on all of its patrol units and the end of October to the beginning of November as a tradition.

“One minute it could be 60 degrees and a day later we could have three inches of snow. You just have to be prepared,” Halladay said. “We tell our people to check their tires, the oil, antifreeze, just like you would be if you’re
going on a trip. Make sure you’re always wearing a seat belt. Always reduce your speed if you know there’s snow sleet or rain or ice on the roadway. Don’t chance it if you know it’s there. Reduce your speed to allow more time for stopping and control of your vehicle. It’s good to get into the habit of not stopping quickly but giving yourself time to stop ahead.”
Many cars have temperature gauges on their dashboards, allowing the driver a chance to realize when it’s freezing, causing the roads to be extra treacherous.

“It’s always good to avoid distractions,” Halladay said. “Don’t text. Try to not talk on your phone during this type of weather when your car could get out of control quickly. Drive with your headlights on. Listen to the radio and pay attention to information coming over your smart phone on road conditions.”

Motorists should make sure they have extra water in their vehicle and snow brushes and ice scrapers are handy, plus snow shovels.

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