Prepare for winter road troubles

Libby Hill

Libby Hill

If you are one of the many college students commuting to and from the Brookings campus or traversing all about the countryside come the weekend, it’s necessary to take certain precautions as winter weather descends upon us full force.

According to South Dakota Highway Patrol Captain Jeff Talbot sometimes you just need to remember the basics in order to stay safe.

“People need to make sure they remember things like an ice scraper and a winter coat. Sometimes it’s so easy just to jump in your car thinking you won’t need a jacket because you’ll only be out of your car for a little bit, but you could have car trouble and then be stuck with just a sweater. It sounds silly but a lot of people run off without this stuff,” says Talbot.

Travel time is also something drivers always have to be aware of when inclement weather is afoot.

“The most important thing that drivers need to do in the wintertime is to have an appreciation that roads may be slippery even if it doesn’t seem like it. You need to allow more time to travel, make sure you leave earlier so you don’t have to rush,” Talbot said.

Talbot added that when people travel faster than the road conditions the end result can be getting stuck, hitting a pole or even hitting another vehicle.

Another insightful safety tip is to carry a winter survival kit in your vehicle. Some inclusions in such a kit would be blankets, first aid kit, can and waterproof matches, booster cables, road maps, compass, tool kit, paper towels, tire chains, collapsible shovel, high calorie canned or dried foods and can opener, flashlight and extra batteries, something brightly colored to attach to your antenna and window to alert others of your presence and the aforementioned ice scraper.

As always, common sense proves the most valuable tool when it comes to winter travel.