How to stay safe on Michigan’s slick winter roads

Like it or not, winter is almost here
Published: Nov. 15, 2022 at 5:47 PM EST
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LANSING, Mich. (WILX) - Mid-Michigan had a few slick spots on the road Tuesday because of the intermittent snow showers.

More: WILX News 10 Live Traffic Map

County road crews spent much of Tuesday making sure the roads are safe for drivers during the first real snowfall of the season.

Road temperatures have not gone below freezing and air temperatures rose throughout the day.

The Clinton County Road Commission said they had six trucks out since 8:30 a.m. checking bridges and overpasses.

The Ingham County Road Commission said they are not salting or actively loading trucks at the time.

Officials said they don’t expect to see too many slippery conditions as the day goes on.

The Michigan Department of Transportation’s MiDrive map can show you where plows and trucks are in realtime. It can be found here.

Reminder: You legally have to remove snow from your vehicle before driving in Michigan

It can take up to 10 times longer to stop your car on snowy or icy roads. There’s also the nearly-invisible black ice, which makes roads more dangerous.

Sloppy road conditions are a key factor in nearly half a million crashes. Michigan State Police said it’s not uncommon to see a lot of crashes during the first snowfall.

The American Automobile Association urges drivers to be cautious while on the road and to remember these tips:

  • Keep a blanket, flashlight and water in your vehicle.
  • Make sure your tires are properly inflated and have plenty of tread.
  • Keep at least half a tank of fuel in your car.
  • Never use cruise control on snow and ice.

If you slide off the road, stay with your vehicle.

“You want to stay in your vehicle as long as it’s safe to,” said Adrienne Woodland, with AAA. “Staying in your vehicle can provide shelter and it also allows emergency responders to best locate you and it prevents you from being struck by an approaching vehicle.”

Don’t over-exert yourself if you’re trying to dig out your car. Remember to clear the exhaust pipe - a clogged pipe could cause the release of carbon monoxide.

More safety tips can be found on the official Michigan Office of Highway Safety Planning website here.

It’s always good to have jumper cables in your vehicle in case you or someone else needs a start. Keep a phone charger and small first aid kit handy as well.

Non-clumping cat litter can be used to put under your wheels for traction in case you get stuck in the snow.

More driving tips can be found on the First Alert Winter Survival Guide here.

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