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Five Tips to Keep You Safe on Snowy Roads

Tips provided by Ohio Highway Patrol and FEMA

Wednesday's Blizzard Warning and the weather that comes with it will likely make roads hazardous.

Ohio Highway Patrol reports that from December 2011 through March 2012, 15,526 crashes occurred on snow-, ice- or slush-covered roadways, killing 27 people and injuring 4,529. Speed was a factor in 72 percent of the crashes.

We haven't had much practice lately in severe winter weather, so it's a good time to remember how to do it right.

The state Highway Patrol and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) have offered some tips for driving safely in the snow and items you should keep in your car in case of an emergency.

  • Allow extra time to get to your destination, maintain a safe distance between your vehicle and the traffic ahead, pay close attention to bridges and overpasses because they freeze first.
  • If your car breaks down, turn on your hazard warning lights, get your car as far off the road as possible and call 1-877-7-PATROL for help. Stay in your car until help arrives.
  • Stock your car with the following items in case you are stranded:cell phone with car charger, road flares or reflectors, "help" or "call police" signs, first aid kit, flashlight, blanket/sleeping bag, small shovel, bottled water and energy foods, candles and matches, tow strap/chain, rock salt, and sand or kitty litter for traction.
  • Minimize travel. If travel is necessary, keep a disaster supplies kit in your vehicle.
  • Get updates on traffic and weather before you head out by checking the Ohio Department of Transportation's website. You can also use Patch's Commute tab to find traffic trouble spots throughout northeast Ohio.

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