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Public Information

Preparation Helps Drivers Cope With Adverse Weather

Feb. 7, 2003


For more information, contact:
Rosalie Thornburgh or Pati Pomeroy
KDOT Bureau of Traffic Safety: (785) 296-3756

Safe/Not Sorry

In Kansas, it is said that the only thing predictable about the weather is it’s unpredictable.

One way for Kansas drivers to cope is to be prepared and to use common sense when inclement weather strikes. The Bureau of Traffic Safety of the Kansas Department of Transportation offers tips for driving in adverse weather conditions:

• Make sure tires and brakes are in good working condition, that the radiator reservoir is full, and that front and rear defrosters are working. Replace windshield wiper blades periodically, and always carry an ice scraper in the winter.

• Routinely carry items like flares, a flashlight, ice scraper, candles, blankets, a first aid kit and spare water in your car. Other useful items include jumper cables, a tow rope or chain, a basic tool kit and a shovel. If possible, motorists also should carry a cell phone to use in the event of a weather-related roadside emergency.

• Proceed cautiously during rain and snow. The road can be slippery, especially when precipitation mixes with oil, grease or dirt. Avoid slamming on brakes in wet or snowy conditions.

• During a heavy rainstorm, don’t drive into running water as it could be deeper than it looks, and the roadway surface underneath could be damaged. Obey barricades and warnings. If your vehicle stalls in water, leave it and seek shelter on higher ground.

• In fog, use low-beam lights, slow down and don’t follow other cars too closely. If fog becomes so bad that driving is unsafe, pull your vehicle far enough off the roadway to ensure another motorist doesn’t collide with it. Use emergency flashers.

• Refrain from using cruise control on highways during wet and snowy conditions.

• Always wear seat belts.

Before traveling in any inclement weather, KDOT recommends checking the road conditions by calling 1-800-585-ROAD or checking the web site at www.kanroad.org. To report any emergency call 911 locally, *47 on your cell phone to reach the Kansas Highway Patrol or *KTA for emergencies on the Kansas Turnpike.

For more information about safe driving practices contact the KDOT Bureau of Traffic Safety at (785) 296-3756. Information can be obtained on the Internet by clicking on the green SAFETY button on the KDOT website, at www.ksdot.org.

Samples of safe weather messages can be found on the Public Service Announcements page.


KDOT is a member of the Governor’s Substance Abuse Prevention Council united in the vision that Kansas communities become places where all children are safe, protected, nurtured, and supported in reaching their fullest potential.