Prescott PD urges caution while driving in the winter conditions

PRESCOTT - With the possibility of more snow in the forecast this week, the Prescott Police Department is advising drivers to slow down during winter storm conditions, and take extra precautions when traveling.

"Winter driving in our state can pose a number of hazards on the roadway," said Sgt. Brian Dever of the Prescott Police Department. "We never know what Mother Nature is going to throw at us, so drivers need to be prepared for fog, ice, snow, rain, winds and cold temperatures."

The Prescott Police Department offers the following tips for winter driving:

• Do not drive during ice or snow storms unless it is absolutely necessary.

• If you must drive, first clear the ice and snow from your vehicle. This includes the headlights and taillights, the windshield wipers and all of the windows. In addition, license plates must be visible, headlights should provide adequate illumination, and all lights should be visible to other motorists.

• Allow your defrosters time to work before driving so you can see.

• Turn on your headlights when you turn on your windshield wipers.

• Drive slowly. Even if your vehicle has good traction in ice and snow, other drivers will be traveling with caution.

• To prevent skids on snow and ice, brake early, carefully and gently. Apply your brakes in slow, steady strokes. Allow the wheels to keep turning. If they begin to lock up, decrease pressure on the brake pedal. As your vehicle decreases speed, you can also shift into a lower gear.

• When sleet, freezing rain or snow begin to fall, remember that bridges, ramps and overpasses will freeze first. Also know that slippery spots may remain after road workers have removed the snow.

"Arizona law requires drivers who are involved in any accident that resulted in injury or death to report the crash to law enforcement" said Dever. "If there is minor damage to your vehicle and/or another vehicle, you must stop and exchange insurance information, but it is not necessary to report the accident to law enforcement.  However, if the damage to one or more vehicles is excessive, those accidents should be reported."

Dever also urges Prescott residents to plan their holiday celebrations carefully. In the interest of community safety, law enforcement officials will be on the lookout for impaired drivers.

"If you plan to drink, please designate an alcohol-free driver. Don't endanger yourself and others," he said. "We want it to be a safe and happy holiday for everyone."