Louisiana State Police share winter weather driving tips

Updated: Feb. 12, 2021 at 7:42 PM CST
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LAKE CHARLES, La. (KPLC) - In a few days, roadways could be hazardous, especially if they’re covered in ice, snow or slush. Louisiana State Police shared their tips on how to prepare for driving in winter conditions.

“We are urging the residents of Louisiana, and anybody that’s going to be on the road, to just not get on the roadways if you don’t have to,” Derek Senegal with the Louisiana State Police said.

The winter weather could bring dangerous driving conditions to our Louisiana roadways. Residents can keep up to date with local weather by downloading the KPLC FIRST ALERT WEATHER APP.

“You throw in ice, and then we’re going to get wet road conditions. Of course if your tires aren’t up to par – you don’t have that tread on your tire – it’s going to be a little bit more difficult for you to maneuver that vehicle.”

All you need to check your tire tread is a penny. Check multiple grooves across the tire with Lincoln’s head down. If part of his head is always covered, you have enough tread. If you are able to see the top of his head then your tires are going bald.

And if you do lose control, Senegal said not to panic, “Take your foot off the accelerator, and you want to steer into the skid until you regain control of that vehicle.”

The Louisiana State Police said that if you do have to drive on icy roads, to make sure you are giving yourself extra time to get to your location. Take a slower approach and increase your stopping distance around other vehicles and intersections.

When making a stop, “You don’t have to slam on your breaks, just lightly tap your breaks until your vehicle comes to a stop.”

In the event of hazardous winter weather, state troopers will be monitoring roadways as a cautionary to help drivers who may need assistance. DOTD will also be monitoring roadways as well as preparing the roads for ice.

The following are the tips offered by Louisiana State Police:

· Avoid unnecessary travel.

· Reduce speed and allow extra time to reach your destination.

· Increase your following distance behind other vehicles.

· Do not drive using the cruise control in icy conditions.

· Anticipate stops (such as stop signs and traffic signals), and brake gently while stopping.

· Be aware that ice may be difficult to see and is especially likely to be present on overpasses, bridges, and shady spots on the roadway.

· If you encounter a skid, take your foot off of the accelerator and steer into the skid until you regain control.

· Use low beam headlights if it is raining or sleeting.

· Watch for slow-moving DOTD vehicles as well as first responders.

· Move over or, if unable to move over, reduce speed for emergency vehicles on the shoulder.

· Ensure all vehicle occupants are properly restrained.

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