During the winter season, snow, ice, and dropping temperatures must be closely watched as we enter a dangerous time of year for driving and at-risk climate. This is also a busy time of year for the Ohio Department of Transportation and local authorities, responsible for clearing snowy wintery roads.

For the 2015-2106 winter season, we are expected to see 1,700 plows on the road as 650,000 tons of salt from ODOT’s 200 statewide offices is used. It costs $50 million to improve these winter road conditions annually in order to keep Ohioans safe. The upkeep lets Ohioans have a safer commute and be able to get back and forth to work, which helps Ohio’s economy continue to grow.

ODOT and local authorities that aid in clearing roads prevent many accidents and provide Ohioans with safe roadway access. These winter months’ roads can be extremely dangerous and I am thankful for ODOT and local authorities that work alongside them that put in long hours to keep our roads clear.  While driving be mindful of the plows, and take it slow.

Additionally, I advise Ohioans to keep an emergency kit in their cars through winter and at all times. You never know when an emergency could strike, which is why it’s important to prepare. Remember to always keep jumper cables, a flashlight, a spare tire, if possible, extra food and water, a blanket, an extra change of clothes, first aid items, and a simple tool kit. I would also advise having emergency signaling, such as flares or reflective triangles.

Lastly, being prepared throughout the winter season is essential whether it be on the road or at home. Try and have essential items in stock in case of snow emergencies where driving is too dangerous. Having enough food and water for many days is strongly advised during the cold season in case of snow-ins. Try to keep warm when in dangerous temperatures and remember to check on your elderly neighbors, too.

 Be safe on the roads this winter and use safety when in winter conditions!

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