Michigan State Police urge safe winter driving

MSP has a few tips for driving in the ice or snow.
Published: Feb. 1, 2023 at 8:06 PM EST
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Negaunee Township, Mich. (WLUC) - By mid-winter, many of us have become accustomed to snow-covered roads. However, the Michigan State Police (MSP) said recent weather has caused some especially dangerous icy conditions. MSP 8th District Public Information Officer Lt. Mark Giannunzio urges drivers to prepare for all driving conditions as ice differs from snow.

“On those icy roads, you’re going to slide a lot farther if you’re hitting those breaks on your vehicle,” said Giannunzio. “We should avoid hitting our breaks when we are on those icy roads. The snow actually will have a little bit more of a grip to it when the roads are snow-covered.”

He said stopping can be difficult because ice causes very little friction.

“When you hit your breaks on icy road service, you’re probably going to go into some type of slide,” said Giannunzio. “There is not much there that’s gripping your tires.”

Giannunzio said he wants drivers to remember that even when there is snow on the road, there could be ice under it.

The Norway High School alumnus also said your following distance is one of the most important things to take into account while driving in snowy or icy conditions.

“We need to give ourselves way more space between the vehicle in front of us to make sure that if they encounter an emergency,” said Giannunzio. “We have enough time to stop our vehicle without causing a secondary crash.”

He said the distance should be at least 1/8th of a mile. Finally, he said ice and snow forms the fastest on bridges, so travelers need to be attentive.

The department also says their final message to the community is to try and avoid tailgating and drive cautiously as it could save lives.