Thursday, December 10, 2009

Winter weather traveling tips from the DCSO

As winter approaches and the chances of snow and inclement weather continue to increase, the Darke County Sheriff’s Office and Sheriff Toby L. Spencer want to encourage everyone to utilize safe winter travel practices

Use slower acceleration and slower speeds. Avoid heavy steering and braking. Allow extra time to reach your destination during inclement weather.

  • Drive with your headlights on.
  • Don't get overconfident with four-wheel drive. It won't help you stop any faster.
  • Winter road conditions often result in longer stopping distances. Give yourself room. If you have anti-lock brakes, press the pedal down firmly and hold it. If you don't have anti-lock brakes, gently pump the pedal.
  • Slow down when approaching intersections, off-ramps, bridges or shady spots. These all have potential to develop black ice.
  • Avoid abrupt actions while steering, braking or accelerating to lessen your chance of losing control.
  • Look farther ahead in traffic. Actions by other drivers will alert you to problems and give you extra reaction time.
  • Trucks take longer to stop. Don't cut in front of them.
  • Avoid using cruise control or overdrive. Don't let your car make a bad decision for you.

It is important to check travel and road conditions before traveling. The Darke County Sheriff’s Office new website ( will have the latest information on any issued snow emergencies. Snow emergency information is also passed on to all local media including print and web media, local radio stations and local television stations.

Snow Emergency Definitions:

Level 1 Snow/Ice Advisory: Roadways are slick and hazardous. Extra caution should be used if traveling. Travel is not restricted.

Level 2 Snow Emergency: Roadways are hazardous with blowing and drifting snow. Roads can be very icy. Only those who feel it is necessary to drive should be out on the roadways. People should contact their employer to see if they should report to work. Obviously, if you are driving, use extreme caution.

Level 3 Snow Emergency: ALL roadways are CLOSED to non-emergency personnel. No one should be driving during this condition unless it is absolutely necessary or a personal emergency exists. All employees should contact their employer to see if they should report to work. Anyone traveling on the roads may subject themselves to arrest.

If at all possible, please avoid calling the Darke County Sheriff’s Office for information concerning snow emergencies and or road conditions. If inclement weather is affecting the region, it is likely that the dispatch center is overwhelmed with emergency calls.

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