Ohio Winter Safety Awareness Week begins with first widespread snow of the season.
CLEVELAND- Love it or hate it, the snow is here. There are snowplows throughout Northeast Ohio as this pervasive mix of snow and rain continues to fall. It might not sound like much, but add in the low temperatures and our roads will become a challenge.
While the kids may be having fun, for the rest of us, it’s a reminder to prepare.
“We make sure the snow thrower is working because shoveling the driveway is not fun,” Ryan Baker said. “We make sure our cars are repaired, oil changed, and ready to go.”
Simion Habian agrees to say, “I make sure my truck is in good condition and has the right clothing and all the right winter gear.”
The Ohio Department of Transportation has about 100 snowplows on Sunday and will continue to rotate them overnight and into the morning.
Although we are seeing more of a mix of snow and rain, pavement temperatures are just above freezing.
People must be very careful when traveling on bridge decks as they can become slippery in the evening hours.
“Those tend to freeze first when the air travels above and below them,” said Amanda McFarland, the Northeast Ohio regional PIO for ODOT. “The bridge decks cool much faster than the road itself.”
There are always many things on our minds when driving in the snow, but ODOT wants you to remember to give your plows room to work. Last winter there were 46 accidents, where someone collided with an ODOT plow.
“We don’t want to see that because when your vehicle hits our snow blower, it’s not going to win,” McFarland said. “These trucks are very big and they have a job to do, so give them plenty of room to work.”
With this first snow falling at the start of Ohio Winter Safety Awareness Week, don’t forget to make sure your car is ready for what’s to come.
“Maybe I have a bottle of water and some snacks and a blanket,” McFarland said. “If you stop in traffic or break down on the side of the road like that, you can stay warm and hydrated until emergency medical services arrive.”
It’s not just your cars that you need to winterize. Make sure their homes are prepared too. The state advises that we all check our smoke detectors and cut and remove low-hanging tree limbs around our homes.
It is also a good idea to prepare an emergency kit for our homes and our cars.