Archive for Thursday, October 30, 2008

Chief’s Corner

October 30, 2008

Âs the weather gets colder, snow will be falling soon, and there are a few things that everyone should be aware of regarding their vehicles. Be sure to check and maintain your vehicle in preparation for the harsher weather conditions ahead.

The first thing to think about is the amount of tread on your tires. People don’t realize that cold and wet weather don’t mix well with bald tires. When the temperatures drop below freezing, a light frost develops on the streets. This combination of frost and wet moisture is often referred to as “black ice.” When you are driving on wet and slick streets, bald tires will not grip the roadway as they should and can cause you to hydroplane and ultimately lose control of your vehicle.

When the tread on your tires is less than 1/16 of an inch, they should be replaced. You can measure the thickness of your tread by using a penny. Place a penny upside down in your tread and if you can see the top of Lincoln’s head, then your tires need to be replaced.

Hydroplaning and losing control of vehicles are contributing factors to many accidents during the winter months. Please keep in mind that it is against the law to drive your vehicle with an improper amount of tread on your tires. If you are involved in an accident, you could be cited for this infraction.

The second thing to think about is your windshield, windows, taillights and brake lights. During the colder and snowy months of the year, we often see people who are literally driving their vehicles by looking through tiny holes in their windshield made by scraping just enough to barely see through. We also see the backsides of vehicles that are so dirty from melting and drying snow, other drivers can’t tell if someone has stepped on their brakes, have their lights on, or are signaling to turn. All of these examples are a violation of the law. Windshields and windows must be unobstructed so that the driver is able to maintain a clear view of the roadways and in unfavorable atmospheric conditions lights can be discernible at a distance of 1,000 feet ahead.

During the harsh months of winter, please take the time necessary to completely clear your vehicle’s windows of snow and frost. Clean your lights off and replace the tires on your vehicle if needed. These types of prevention measures will help ensure that you enjoy the winter seasons and possibly keep you from having an accident and becoming another police statistic.

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