With the winter driving season right around the corner, the Michigan State Police is reminding drivers to slow down and use caution when traveling on slick and snow-covered roads.

According to the Michigan State Police Criminal Justice Information Center, of the more than 1.5 million total crashes in Michigan from 2015 to 2019, 14.2 percent were winter weather related. Of those crashes on icy, snowy, or slushy road conditions, 361 involved fatalities in which 402 people lost their lives.

“Our goal is to save lives and decrease the number of serious injury crashes on Michigan roadways,” said Paw Paw Post Commander, 1st Lt. Scott Ernstes. He went onto to say, “By simply slowing down when roads are wet, icy, or snowy you can significantly reduce your chances of being involved in a crash.”

Myths and facts related to winter driving:

Myth: The lower the temperature the more slippery the road.
Fact: Roads are most slippery when the thermometer hovers around freezing. Black ice is deadly!

Myth: When it starts snowing all I need is an extra car length to stop.
Fact: It can take up to 10 times longer to stop in snowy or icy weather. Driving slow on snowy and icy roads allows the driver a longer reaction time.

Myth: Using cruise control during the winter is no big deal.
Fact: A sudden loss of traction could cause wheels to slip, making the car skid. In winter months, keep cruise control off.

Myth: Anti-lock brakes stop you faster on snow and ice.
Fact: This isn’t always true. Anti-lock brakes help you to steer while braking, giving you better control in panic situations, but don’t think they are better in all situations.

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