The first snow has hit and the State Highway Patrol says that should prompt motorists to prepare for driving throughout the winter months. State Highway Patrol Captain Chris Ricks says it’s amazing how much drivers forget from one winter to another. The patrol worked more than 660 traffic wrecks between midnight Wednesday to 11 o’clock Thursday morning. Ricks says the first rule of winter driving is to increase your following distance. He says too many drivers expect too much from their four-wheel-drive vehicles. Ricks says that while four-wheel-drive helps a vehicle get going in snow, it does nothing to help it stop.Ricks reminds all of us that accidents can happen to anyone, even the best of drivers. He says motorists need to be prepared by having an emergency kit in the car that should start with blankets and bottled water. It could include a small shovel, even some ashes. Ricks says ashes help provide traction and can be the difference between being stranded and driving off. Also, have the cell phone fully charged. The patrol can be reached in emergencies by dialing Star-55. Ricks says motorists should be prepared to spend a night stranded, because sometimes it’s difficult for help to get to them, especially in rural areas.
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