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Iowa Department of Public Safety
215 East 7th Street
Des Moines, Iowa 50319

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For immediate release:  

Friday, December 3, 2010  


Des Moines, IOWA --- The Iowa Department of Public Safety's Iowa State Patrol Division wants to remind drivers to be careful behind the wheel. Winter driving season is here, and there are things drivers can do to reduce the number of people involved in accidents on Iowa's roadways.

All drivers need to closely monitor road conditions. Colonel Patrick Hoye, Chief of the Iowa State Patrol said, "Changing weather conditions can catch drivers off guard, especially the first snowfall of the season. Whether you are a new driver or a seasoned veteran, the best things you can do are to plan ahead and take it slow."

Here are some tips for winter driving:

  • Tell family and friends of your travel plans.
  • Provide someone your starting point, route, final destination, estimated departure and arrival times, vehicle description and license plate information.
  • Maintain a full tank of gas.
  • Pack a storm survival kit for your vehicle which should include:
    • Warm clothes
    • Blankets
    • Flashlight
    • First aid kit
    • Red flag/Help sign
    • Booster cables
    • Sand
    • Cellular phone
    • High energy food
  • Drive Defensively
  • Reduce your speed.
  • Increase distance between your vehicle and the vehicle in front of you.

If you become stranded in your vehicle during a winter storm, please follow these simple rules:

  • Call 911 for assistance and know the closest mile marker.
  • Stay in your vehicle
    • You can easily become disoriented by wind-driven snow and cold temperatures.
    • Run the motor for 10 minutes each hour for warmth.
    • Open the window a bit for fresh air and to avoid carbon monoxide poisoning.
  • Be visible to rescuers
    • Turn the dome light on at night
    • Tie a bright colored cloth to your antenna or door
    • After snowfall stops, raise the hood to indicate you need help
  • Keep moving
    • Move arms, legs, toes and fingers from time to time to keep limbs warm and blood circulating

To obtain information on road conditions across the State of Iowa, call 5-1-1 or go to http://511ia.org/roadconditions.asp


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