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Safety tips to get you prepared for this winters first snow

Although Columbia Missouri officially recorded a high of 82 degrees Wednesday, breaking a previous long standing record of 78 degrees, cold weather is just around the corner which means we will be eventually gearing up for our first snow event. With conditions quickly changing, drivers are not acclimated to wintery driving conditions.

Every year, the first snow event of the winter season catches people off guards on the roadways. This leads to steep increase in accidents across Missouri.

The decrease in traction is always the main concern when driving. Loss of traction means decreases in steering ability and increases stopping times which can lead to accidents. To prevent the likelihood of causing or being in an accident accelerating and decelerating slowly leads to less of a chance of losing traction and preventing tire spin. This paired with a reduce in driving speed aids in stopping time.

Having a safety kit always in your vehicle will also help just chance something happens such as running off the road and becoming stranded or mechanical failures. This kit will help you remain safe and can keep you prepared until emergency services are able to reach you and help.

Make sure to continue moving when driving up a hill to allow momentum to move forward so you are not forced to stop which cause an uncontrolled reversal of a vehicle.

When driving at 35 mph on a dry surface, the friction between your tires and the roadway is increased allowing for a quick stop. Whenever driving on snow, the stop time is doubled as friction nearly cut in half. This means less time to make a decision to avoid hazards or other vehicles in the way.

Make sure before you hit the roadways this winter you check forecast like those on the ABC17 Weather App. This allows you to quickly pull up locations nearby to make smart decisions before traveling. Making a check list and letting others know of your travels allows for you to have someone to check in to make sure you arrive safely to your destination.

Article Topic Follows: Weather
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Chance Gotsch

Chance Gotsch grew up just south of St. Louis and moved to Columbia to attend the University of Missouri to pursue a degree in Atmospheric Sciences.

His interest in weather begin as a child when he used to be afraid of storms.

Chance joined the ABC 17 Stormtrack Weather Team in February 2021. He is currently the weekday noon meteorologist.


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