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Winter Weather Travel Safety Tips

When you start to lose control of your car, your instinct might be to press on your breaks. But that - can easily be the reason you end up in an accident.

Posted: Nov 11, 2020 8:28 AM
Updated: Nov 11, 2020 8:28 AM

TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTHI) -- When you start to lose control of your car, your instinct might be to press on your breaks.
But that - can easily be the reason you end up in an accident. Indiana state troopers say they see that often.

"All of a sudden, white-out conditions occurred, cars started going off the roadway, and unfortunately, a semi came through and just started bouncing off of vehicles, and it continued through until it slid into the median and came to a stop," said S

That's just one of the many winter accidents Sgt. Matt Ames has seen. Ames has been an Indiana State Police public information officer for two years but has been in the department for 25 years. He said speed plays a significant factor in accidents they see on the highway.

"People start to get comfortable with road conditions, and they start to overdrive for those road conditions. Just because the posting speed limit says 70mph, that doesn't mean the road conditions say, 'hey, drive 70mph'," said Ames.

If your tires don't have tread, that too can be a reason you lose control. Ames explained to me a simple way to measure if you have enough tread for the winter.

"If you hold a penny in there, and the head goes all the way in, and you can't see it, then you're good to go," he said.

If you start to lose control, let off the accelerator and steer toward the direction that your vehicle's rear is going. Once you get control, apply your breaks very lightly.

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