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Winter Driving Safety Tips

The Novi Police Department would like to remind motorists to take extra caution when traveling through snow or icy conditions. The best advice for driving in inclement weather is to NOT drive at all. If you can avoid it, stay put. But for those that must venture out in bad weather, one of the most important things to remember is to slow down. If you have to drive, drive slower and allow yourself extra time to reach your destination.

Allowing more distance to stop is another essential practice for which to adhere. Motorists need to remember even if you have a four-wheel or all-wheel drive vehicle, that doesn’t translate to quicker stopping. In fact, because of their weight, large trucks and SUVs may require a longer distance to stop than a car on ice or snow.

Although the City of Novi’s Department of Public Works works hard and effectively to clear our roadways for safe winter travel, it is important to keep winter driving safety tips in mind so you are prepared for the unexpected. If you must travel through snow or icy conditions, also remember these important safety tips:

  • Turn on your lights to increase your visibility to other motorists.
  • Keep your lights and windshield clean.
  • Use low gears to keep traction, especially on hills.
  • Don't use cruise control on icy roads.
  • Be especially careful on bridges and overpasses as these areas will typically freeze first. Even at temperatures above freezing, if the conditions are wet, you might encounter ice in shady areas or on exposed roadways, such as bridges.
  • Don't pass snow plows and salt trucks. The drivers have limited visibility, and you're likely to find the road in front of them worse than the road behind.
  • Don't assume your vehicle can handle all conditions. Even four-wheel, all-wheel and front-wheel drive vehicles can encounter trouble on winter roads.
  • Prepare your vehicle for winter – check your tires, antifreeze, defroster, brakes, windshield wipers and windshield washer fluid.
  • Store emergency items in vehicle to include small tools, battery cables, matches, extra blankets, non-perishable food and water, extra gloves, socks and a first aid kit in case of an accident.

Drive carefully and pay attention to other drivers. If you have any questions or require further information, please do not hesitate to contact the Novi Police Department at 248-348-7100.