With the forecast calling for 2 inches to 4 inches of snow on Christmas Eve, the Hamilton County Sheriff's Department wants to remind drivers of some basic safety tips for driving on snow and ice covered roads.

  • Reduce speed. Many crashes occur simply due to driving too fast for weather conditions. There is no designated "safe" speed so drivers must exercise caution based on conditions. The safe speed may be well below the posted maximum speed limit.
  • Conditions may deteriorate rapidly and may be change due to traffic patterns, available sunlight or snow treatment on pavement, or other factors. Don't be lulled into thinking that easy driving in one location means the same everywhere. The same road may suddenly become hazardous a short distance away.
  • Leave extra room between vehicles. This is true both while traveling and while stopped at lights or signs. Normal following distances should be increased to 8-10 seconds minimum.
  • Accelerate and brake slowly. Sudden moves create problems on snow and ice.
  • Keep all windows clear of debris. Don't start driving until all windows are clear of ice, snow, and frost.
    Minimize distractions. Even more than on nice days, keep eyes on the road and attention on driving. Put away phones and other distractions.
  • Use your lights even during daylight hours. This is not so much for you to see but to assist others with seeing you. Make sure to clear lights of snow and ice.
  • Keep vehicles maintained. Check tire pressure, fill washer fluid, replace windshield wipers, keep gas tank at least half full, and have general maintenance performed.
  • Have an emergency kit in each vehicle. Suggested items include a blanket or extra clothes, flashlight, water, snacks, and a fully charged cell phone.

For more ideas visit https://secure.in.gov/dhs/3549.htm.

Throughout the winter season, call Hamilton County Public Safety Communications at (317) 773-1282 in case of a slide-off or crash, or 911 for an emergency. Emergency officials continually monitor road conditions around the county and will announce any travel advisories.