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State Police officials offer driving tips for winter weather

Posted on Monday, March 3, 2014 at 9:20 am

From 5:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday, Virginia State Police dispatchers  received 583 calls for service.  Of those calls for service, troopers responded to 437 motor vehicle crashes mostly involving property damage and 87 disabled vehicles. State Police investigated one confirmed weather related traffic fatality that occurred in Amelia County earlier this morning.

The figures  are for the Richmond Division only of the Virginia State Police which covers the following jurisdictions (Cities:  Richmond and Petersburg; Counties: Amelia, Caroline, Chesterfield, Charles City, Dinwiddie, Essex, Goochland, Hanover, Henrico, King and Queen, King William, Lancaster, Louisa, New Kent, Nottoway, Northumberland, Powhatan, Richmond, Westmoreland, Prince George, and King George.

Driving Tips in Inclement Weather:

State law requires headlights to be on when windshield wipers are in active use
Completely clear all windows and head/taillights of snow/ice before traveling
Add extra time to reach travel destination
Slow your speed for road conditions
Increase driving distances between vehicles for increased stopping distance
Do not tailgate snow plows or sand trucks
Always Buckle up and ensure your passengers are buckled up as well
Do not drive distracted
If your vehicle begins to hydroplane steer your vehicle in the direction you want your vehicle to go
Brake and accelerate lightly
Plan ahead before you travel by calling 511 for road conditions or click on – Do not call 911 or #77, as these are for emergency calls only

Have a charged cell phone and extra blankets, water, snacks in case your vehicle becomes disabled

Know your location to give to an emergency dispatcher to include the direction of travel in case you need emergency response. Use exit numbers or mile markers when on the interstate as points of reference (For example, Interstate 95 northbound at the 80 mile marker.)

·         Motorists are also reminded to comply with Virginia’s “Move Over” law, which requires drivers to change to another travel lane or, when not able to, to cautiously pass emergency personnel stopped on the side of the road. State law includes highway maintenance vehicles and tow trucks equipped with flashing amber lights.