Tuscarawas County, Ohio - Winter weather has officially arrived in the valley, and Tuscarawas County Safe Communities is sharing information to help drivers stay safe during their travels.
Coordinator Kelly Snyder says the first thing people should do before hitting the road this winter is to check the weather and road conditions. If the roads are bad, she suggests people give themselves some extra time to get where they need to go.
"Make sure you plan to leave early if necessary because you’re not going to get there in the same amount of time that you would in dry conditions," she says.
Snyder says it’s also a good idea to plan your route ahead, especially for longer or unfamiliar trips.
"If you’re going on a long trip, make sure you familiarize yourself with directions and the maps before you go, even if you use a GPS system, and most importantly, let a family member know where you’re going and what time you anticipate to arrive so that way if you don’t get there, they can look for you," she says.
Snyder also encourages drivers to slow down and drive according to the weather conditions and not the posted speeds limit.
"When you’re driving and looking at the speed limits, remember that those speed limits are the maximum speed allowed for perfect conditions," she says. "Law enforcement agencies can write citations for motorists driving the posted speed if the weather conditions warrant a slower speed so make sure you’re aware of that as well."
Snyder also reminds drivers to turn on their headlights, especially at night and in fog or heavy snow, and to always buckle up.
"Make sure, of course, whether it’s good weather or bad weather, that you’re always wearing your seatbelt every time you get in your vehicle," she says.
Snyder says if the roads are especially treacherous, people may want to consider postponing their trip.
STACEY CARMANY, TUSCO TV