Drive with care on roadways as winter conditions set in
With a few autumn 2020 snowfalls already seen in parts of Michigan, the state Office of Highway Safety Planning has launched its winter driving safety campaign to remind drivers to slow down and use caution when traveling on slick and snow-covered roads.
Of the more than 1.5 million total crashes reported in Michigan from 2015 to 2019, 14.2% — or 220,526 — were winter-weather related, according to the Michigan State Police Criminal Justice Information Center. Of those crashes on icy, snowy, or slushy road conditions, 361 involved fatalities in which 402 people lost their lives.
“The goal of the ‘Drive Slow on Ice and Snow’ campaign is to save lives and decrease the number of serious injuries on Michigan roadways,” said Michael Prince, OHSP director. “By raising awareness about the challenges and dangers inherent in winter driving, we hope to encourage everyone to reduce their speed when driving on slick surfaces and leave plenty of space between vehicles.”
This year, the OHSP is expanding its winter driving safety outreach by launching a new website with tips and useful resources. When drivers go to www.michigan.gov/WinterDriving, they can find advice addressing a wide range of cold-weather challenges, including: planning a safe route, how to control their vehicle, what to do in an emergency, passenger safety, tire tips and more.
“It’s a sad fact that when winter storms arrive, fatalities and serious injuries on ice and snow-covered roads are soon to follow,” Prince said. “After months of driving on mostly dry surfaces, it’s the time of year to remind everyone that driving in wintry conditions is hazardous, and drivers must take charge of their vehicle to ensure their safety and the safety of others.”