“Accumulating amounts of ice and snow, coupled with high winds have created extremely hazardous travel conditions across most of central and northern Indiana,” said Indiana Executive Director Joe Wainscott. “The best advice right now is to stay inside unless you have a true emergency. If it is absolutely essential that you leave home, it’s vitally important that you take every precaution to ensure your safety on the road.”
Indiana State Police advise motorists to drive only if absolutely necessary in severe weather and to take the following precautions:
· Allow extra time to get to your destination.
· Icy conditions create difficult driving conditions for all types of vehicles including emergency response vehicles, yellow state snow plows and other road treatment vehicles. Leave lots of extra space between you and any other vehicles.
· Clear all windows of ice and snow and remove snow from hood, roof and head lights 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.
· Use low beam headlights to decrease glare from ice.
If you must be on the road, bring the following items with you in your vehicle:
- At least two blankets or a sleeping bag
- Flashlight or battery-powered lantern and extra batteries
- Extra clothing, particularly boots, hats and mittens
- Bottled water or juice and nonperishable high-energy foods (granola bars, raisins, nuts, peanut butter or cheese crackers)
- First-aid kit and necessary medications
- A cell phone charger which can be adapted to vehicle use
- Candle, matches, heat sticks/packs, lighters, hand-warmers, etc. (Be sure to crack the window if you using a heat source inside the vehicle)
Should you become stranded:
· Do not leave your car, it is the best protection you have.
· Keep the overhead light on when the engine is running so you can be seen (remember to keep the windows cracked).
· Tie a brightly colored cloth to the antenna for rescuers to see.
· Run the engine for 10 minutes every hour to stay warm. Remember, an idling car uses only one gallon of gas per hour.
· Keep the exhaust pipe free of blockage to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning.