SCDPS warns drivers of winter weather hazards - FOX Carolina 21

SCDPS warns drivers of winter weather hazards

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(File: FOX Carolina) (File: FOX Carolina)

The South Carolina Department of Public Safety, and other state and local agencies, have advised motorists to stay off the roads as much as possible in the event of winter weather.

"Some of the most troublesome issues the Highway Patrol sees during inclement weather include: minor collisions involving people losing control of the vehicle, black ice, bridges or overpasses icing before the roadways; motorists traveling too fast for conditions and not leaving enough space between them and other vehicles," said Highway Patrol Col. Mike Oliver.

Highway Patrol and State Transport Police said they are preparing troopers and officers for inclement weather, and they will be closely monitoring road conditions. Officials also say they are planning ahead, as various emergency agencies have to share resources such as four-wheel drive vehicles and personnel.

"We are actively planning to pre-position DPS law enforcement officers and equipment in those areas of the state that may be adversely affected by hazardous weather and have begun disseminating safety information to motorists," said SCDPS Director Leroy Smith.

Authorities said motorist should also plan ahead in the event of getting stranded. They said to be prepared with blankets, water, snacks, and flashlights.

State Transport Police Col. Leroy Taylor said if motorists must be on the roads, they should take extra precautions when driving in snow and ice.

"Leave more space," Taylor said. "Ensure you are giving large trucks plenty of room to navigate and be aware that they need a much greater stopping distance," he said. Taylor also cautioned motorists to be aware of large trucks' blind spots.

According to early weather predictions, weather will have the heaviest impact in the Midlands and the coastal areas. There is a possibility of freezing precipitation and snow in these areas, which could present dangerous black ice conditions.

During hazardous weather, SCDPS said motorists should limit the use of Highway Patrol to true emergencies, such as being stranded in a vehicle or reporting a collision.

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