During winter, driving conditions can change quickly depending on weather conditions. To help residents prepare for the winter driving season, the Indiana State Police Department has offered safety tips.
* Before traveling, check the forecast and let someone know the travel route,
* Keep the gas tank full if possible, and
* Carry a winter driving kit, which should include blankets, flashlight and extra batteries, a brightly colored cloth, sand (or cat litter), shovel, candle, matches, non-perishable high calorie food, a first aid kit and jumper cables and cell phone.
Drive according to road conditions
* Allow extra time to get to the destination,
* Clear all windows of ice and snow and remove snow from hood, roof, headlights and tail lights,
* Beware of bridges, underpasses, shaded areas and intersections, where ice is slow to melt,
* Slow down to increase traction; don't use cruise control on slick roads,
* Avoid abrupt stops and starts. Slow down gradually and keep wheels turning to avoid losing traction, and
* Use low beam headlights to decrease glare from ice.
If becoming stranded
* Don't leave the vehicle,
* Tie a brightly colored cloth to the antenna to signify the need for help,
* Roll down a window a small amount for fresh air,
* Keep the exhaust pipe free of blockage to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning, and
* Avoid panic. An idling car uses only one gallon of gas per hour.
For information on road conditions through March 31, call 1-800-261-7623 or visit www.in.gov/isp.