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MSP Offers Safety Tips for Winter Driving

LeeLeFever, Flickr

As winter approaches, the Michigan State Police (MSP) is encouraging motorists to prepare their vehicles for inclement weather and to brush up on their winter driving skills.

“Driving too fast for conditions is the number one cause of traffic crashes during inclement weather,” said Col. Kristie Kibbey Etue, director of the MSP. “Motorists should be prepared for the unexpected and remember that the handling capabilities of their vehicle are dramatically reduced in winter weather conditions.”

There are several factors to be aware of when stopping and turning in winter weather. Remember to do all of your braking before the turn is made to reduce the potential for a skid to occur. If your car begins to skid, let off the throttle and brake, and use quick hand-over-hand steering to turn the fron tires in the direction you want to travel.

In addition to being extra careful while driving, motorists should also take steps to prepare their vehicle for inclement weather. Vehicle preparedness tips include:

  • Keep tire at the cars manufacturer’s recommended pressure and routinely check tire pressure during cold weather.
  • Make sure the windshield solvent reservoir is full and keep new wiper blades on front and rear wipers, if so equipped.
  • Wash your car for better visibility to other drivers, and remove ice and snow from all lights, windows and the license plate before driving.
  • Periodically check all lights and replace when necessary.
  • Prepare a winter driving survival kit with items such as an extra winter coat, pants, hats, boots and gloves; blanket, nonperishable food; flashlight with batteries, dry container of matches; jumper cables; tow strap; first aid kit; shovel; salt or kitty litter; road flares; and a spare tire and jack.
  • If you become stranded in a winter storm, do not leave your vehicle. Stay with the vehicle and wait for help.
  • Keep vehicle fuel tank near full to prevent fuel line from freezing.

The MSP encourages traveler to visit the Winter Travel Advisory website at to check road conditions before traveling.

For additional winter safety tips, visit or visit for a video detailing winter driving safety tips on the MSP You Tube channel

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