Concerned that mild weather has lulled motorists, the New Hampshire Department of Transportation and New Hampshire State Police today urged drivers to prepare for winter driving conditions across the state.
Joined by AAA of Northern England and the NH Towing Association, NHDOT and State Police said winter weather has arrived in parts of New Hampshire and snow and ice conditions demand a significant change in driving practices.
“The Department of Transportation is ready for winter to arrive,” said NHDOT Assistant Director of Operations David Rodrigue. “Our snow fighters are prepared, salt and sand sheds are full, and our state roads will be maintained by over 700 state and private plow trucks this winter. Don’t crowd the plow and remember the road surface is better where treated behind that plow. Four wheel drive does not mean four wheel stop, and avoid using cruise control in winter weather conditions.”
Last winter 28 NHDOT plow trucks and 21 State Police cruisers were struck by motorists while working to keep the highways safe.
“A majority of crashes or going off the road during a winter storm are the result of driving at a speed too high for the existing conditions,” said Major David Parenteau of NH State Police. “We remind drivers to slow down, stay a sufficient distance behind the vehicle you are following, and to please follow the law and move over or slow down if you can’t move over when approaching emergency vehicles stopped on the highway.”
According to AAA of Northern New England, AAA assisted over 175,000 members during the winter months last year, and in most cases the situation could have been avoided if motorists were better prepared for the conditions and adjusted their driving.
“Being able to see and be seen is vital to safe winter driving,” said Daniel Goodman, of AAA of Northern New England. “As drivers reacquaint themselves with winter conditions, we urge them to be cautious about their safety and stress the important of preparing your vehicle.”
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