The weather outside is frightful

As a winter storm warning remained in effect through most of Saturday, the Seneca County Sheriff’s Office offered tips for drivers navigating on slick and snowy roads.

Deputy Justin Nowak of the Seneca County Sheriff’s Office said in winter weather conditions, drivers should set aside more time to get to and from their destination and also should use precaution when entering intersections.

“Use common sense, of course, when conditions on the roadway are slippery and wet,” he said.

Drivers should allow greater distances between their vehicle and other vehicles to allow more time for stopping and slowing down, Nowak said.

More importantly, drivers should always be aware of their surroundings, he said.

According to a release form the State Highway Patrol, from December 2012 through March, 18,779 crashes occurred on snow, ice or slush covered roadways, killing 42 people and injuring 5,253. Speed-related factors were reported as a cause in 56 percent of these crashes.

The State Patrol suggests driving slowly in winter weather conditions, as everything including accelerating, turning and braking can take longer on snow-covered roadways.

In preparation of an emergency, drivers should make sure their vehicles have plenty of gas and that their cells phones are charged, Nowak said.

According to the release from the State Highway Patrol, other items to keep in a winter car kit include: a cell phone car charger; road flares or reflectors; help or call police signs; first aid kit; flashlight; blanket or sleeping bag; a small shovel; bottled water and energy foods; candles and matches; and a tow strap or chain.

“In case of a vehicle breakdown, motorists should turn on their hazard warning lights, safely position the vehicle as far off the road as possible, call #677 for assistance and remain in the vehicle until help arrives,” State Highway Patrol Colonel Paul Pride stated in the release.

Troopers further suggest that if a driver gets stuck in snow; they should make sure that the tail pipe is free of all snow and debris to decrease the chances of carbon monoxide poisoning.