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Winter Driving Tips
(November 10, 2014)

* * * Winter Driving Tips * * *

Slick road conditions are starting to be present around the Central Indiana area as winter weather has once again arrived. As the snow and ice falls, the Sheriff's Office wishes to remind motorists of some safe driving techniques.

To reduce your risk of involvement in a winter driving traffic crash:

Reduce your speed substantially. Remember that Indiana Law requires motorists to reduce their speed upon hazardous weather conditions. Dangerous drivers can be ticketed for failing to reduce their speed during dangerous winter weather driving conditions.

Reduce speed before turning. When attempting to negotiate a turn during slick weather, one must make sure that their speed is minimal before they ever turn the steering wheel to initiate the turn. Failure to do so will result in the front wheels loss of traction and the vehicle continuing in a straight line until the car either impacts another car, another object, or slides into the ditch. A good rule of thumb: If you are turning your steering wheel, you should not have your foot on the brake pedal (you should already be done braking).

Increase following distance. The distance between your vehicle and the car in front of you should increase tri-fold during slick roadway conditions. This will allow you to stop in time to avoid other drivers who fail to read and implement the above two driving tips.

Pay attention and watch your mirrors. Emergency crews are busy during bad weather. Sheriff's Deputies', Firemen, and Medical Responders will be trying to drive to accident scenes. Watch for their lights and the moment you see their lights, pull to the right-hand side of the road as far as you can without getting stuck in the snow and stop. Please do not wait on the emergency vehicle to "get closer"; Pulling off immediately lets the driver of the emergency vehicle know that you see him or her. Remember, you are required by law to pull over to the right and stop always, not just if you think you are being stopped for a traffic violation.

If you do slide off the roadway, stay with your car until law enforcement or a wrecker arrives. If you do need to abandon your vehicle for some reason, leave a note with your name and phone numbers visible in a window or dash area somewhere. Call the Sheriff's Dispatch at your earliest convenience to let them know where your car is and answer the questions they will ask.

Keep Important Phone Numbers handy. In the Johnson County Sheriff's jurisdiction:

If you are involved in a crash involving injury, Call 9-1-1.

If you are involved in a property damage only crash, Call the Sheriff's Communications at 317-736-5155.

If you have slid off the roadway and there is no damage to property or road blockage, Call a wrecker of your choice. The Sheriff's Office uses a rotation of wreckers to serve county residents. This agency does not endorse the use of any specific wrecker service; The wrecker companies approved by the Johnson County Sheriff for the wrecker rotation list are:

Hix Towing (Greenwood), Greenwood Towing Service (Greenwood), RDC Towing (New Whiteland), Recovery One of Indiana, Inc (Franklin) and Paris Wrecker (Franklin). While not on the Sheriff's rotation, there is only one "AAA Authorized" wrecker in Johnson County and they will respond to any location from Whiteland Road to the south. Their name is Copples Wrecker Service (Edinburgh).

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