Know Before You Go During Winter Travel Season
Nov. 7, 2002 (Release 02-142)
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
News Contacts: Listed at end of release
Know Before You Go During Winter Travel Season
Know before you go. It’s advice that could save your life during the
winter driving season in Kansas.
Winter driving can be dangerous, especially for rusty drivers at the beginning
of the season. After a long spring and summer, it’s easy to forget how
to drive on winter's slick roads and in low visibility. Common sense says to
monitor the weather, travel only when necessary, keep your speed down and drive
The Kansas Highway Patrol and the Kansas Department of Transportation offer
the following additional suggestions for your safe winter travel. First, prepare
your vehicle. Extreme temperatures can be hard on vehicles. Check the fluids,
ensuring that the radiator is winterized, that the gas tank is over half-full,
and that there is plenty of windshield washing fluid.
Check belts, hoses and brake systems for excessive wear. Have the exhaust
system checked; small leaks can allow carbon monoxide to enter the passenger
compartment. Check tire treads for adequate traction, and replace windshield
wiper blades if they are ineffective.
Keep a survival kit that includes at least the following:
|- An ice scraper and shovel
||- Non-perishable food
|- Jumper cables and flashlight
||- A first aid kit
|- Matches and candles or flares
||- A towrope or chain
|- Sand or kitty litter for traction
||- Extra clothing or blankets
Before you travel find out the latest weather-related road conditions by going
to the KDOT web site at www.kanroad.org and clicking on “Road Conditions.”
A statewide map will be displayed showing weather-related information on primary
routes in the state. Below the state map you can click on links that will take
you to regional map information. These maps show more routes, including all
Kansas, U.S. and Interstate designated routes in the region.
You may also obtain the latest information by calling KDOT’s toll-free
Road Condition Hot Line at 1-800-585-ROAD (7623).
Once you’re on the road, be sure to allow extra time for delays and
slower traffic speeds. Buckle up and properly secure children in safety seats.
Increase the distance between your vehicle and the vehicle ahead of you because
inclement weather significantly increases your stopping distance.
Accelerate and brake gently when driving. A light foot on the gas is less
likely to make wheels spin on ice and snow. Braking is best accomplished by
pumping the pedal, unless your vehicle has an anti-lock braking system (ABS).
If it has ABS, it is very important that you understand how to use it. Read
the owner's manual and practice using it correctly. Make turns slowly and gradually,
especially in heavily traveled areas.
Visibility is very important. You must be able to see out, and other drivers
must be able to see your vehicle. Clean frost and snow off all windows, mirrors
If your vehicle loses traction and begins to slide, steer into the swerve,
or in the direction you want to go. Anticipate a second skid in the opposite
direction as the car straightens out.
Motorists that become stranded in a winter storm should not panic. Stay in
the vehicle, keep fresh air circulating through a downwind window, run the motor
sparingly, turn on the dome light and stimulate circulation and stay awake by
moving arms and legs. If you have a cellular phone, call a Kansas Highway Patrol
dispatcher by dialing *HP (47) or *KTA (582) while on the Kansas Turnpike.
KDOT will strive to continue delivering the timely and comprehensive ice and
snow control that Kansans are accustomed to receiving through specialized equipment,
new technology, and an increased focus on technology.
The approximate 10,000 miles of highways maintained by KDOT are divided into
three service levels: I, II, and III. The long-term practice of utilizing service
levels provides a systematic procedure for allocating available resources during
snow removal operations. Services levels are determined by many factors, which
may include traffic counts, number of lanes, service continuity, and roadway
classification (Interstate, Primary) to name a few.
While the department often performs snow removal operations on each level
simultaneously, highways in service level I will receive the highest level of
service. Service level I includes those routes with the highest traffic counts
and other highly significant factors.
The following KDOT and KHP regional contacts are available to assist members
of the media who would like to schedule an interview, take pictures or shoot
video footage related to the winter driving season.
|Kansas Department of
District Public Involvement Liaisons
|Northeast Dist. - Topeka
|Northcentral Dist. - Salina
|Northwest Dist. - Norton
|Southeast Dist. - Chanute
| Southcentral Dist. - Hutchinson
|Southwest Dist. - Garden City
|Kansas Highway Patrol
Public Resource Officers
|Headquarters – Topeka
2LT John Eichkorn
|Troop A - Olathe
Sgt. Steve Jensen
|Troop B - Topeka
Sgt. Tim McCool
|Troop C - Salina
Sgt. J.L. Riedel
|Troop D - Hays
Sgt. Travis Phillips
|Troop E - Garden City
Sgt. Ron Knoefel
|Troop F - Wichita
Sgt. Gary Warner
|Troop H - Chanute
Sgt. Chuck Yokley