With the second snowfall this past weekend and winter nearly upon us, the Rhode Island Department of Transportation (RIDOT) is offering Rhode Island motorists a list of safety tips during this winter driving season.
RIDOT is ready for winter, said RIDOT Director Michael P. Lewis. We have a 500+ State and vendor fleet, we have an ample supply of sand and salt, and we are ready to tackle the winter storm season.
Lewis added that while RIDOT is ready, motorists need to be ready too by practicing the following safety tips:
Before leaving home in wintery conditions: Avoid unnecessary travel during winter storms. Call 511 or log on to http://www2.tmc.state.ri.us/ to check road conditions before your trip. Get your vehicle winterized and make sure your tires have adequate traction control. Have your anti-freeze, battery, brakes, heater, exhaust system and lights tested. Never travel with less than a half tank of gas. Equip your vehicle with: cell phone, flashlights, booster cables, road flares, a shovel, salt, extra warm clothes, sleeping bag or blankets, high energy candy or snacks, windshield scraper and towrope. Notify others of travel plans. Tell someone where you are going and the route. Report a safe arrival.
When driving in winter conditions: Slow down and stay behind the snowplows. Drivers should allow at least five car lengths between their vehicles and snowplows. The road behind the plow will be the safest place to drive. Be particularly aware of black ice conditions on surfaces such as bridge decks and entrance and exit ramps. Turn on headlights and turn off cruise control settings.
For more information, visit RIDOTs website at: http://www.dot.state.ri.us/programs/maintenance/winterops.asp.