How to brush off your winter driving habits

Beyond the Forecast

MARQUETTE, Mich. (WJMN) – Parts of the Upper Peninsula saw its first measurable snow on Tuesday, serving as a reminder to prepare for the snow and ice in the months to come.

“There’s really a psychological shift that needs to happen this time of year where we all get our habits and reflexes for winter driving back. This time of year can be pretty dangerous on the roads if you aren’t slowing down and leaving extra room between you and other folks,” said Dan Weingarten with the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT).

Weingarten said it’s important to change your driving behavior with the seasons and take responsibility as the best safety feature in your vehicle is you.

“So Michigan has speed limits which everyone needs to abide by. There’s also Michigan’s basic speed law. Which, in effect says you can be ticketed for going too fast for conditions. You have to drive in a manor that keeps your vehicle under control at all times. So if you were in a crash and it was caused because you’re going too fast, couldn’t stop, and you rear end somebody, you can be found to be in violation of the basic speed law even if you were going the speed limit. “

According to MDOT, of the more than 43,000 total crashes reported in the Upper Peninsula from 2016 to 2020, 27.7 percent (11,991) were winter weather-related.

MSP’s Office of Highway Safety Planning launched a website with helpful reminders for everything from emergency kits, to driving near snowplows, and how to handle emergencies.

Weingarten suggests checking MDOT’s traffic cameras before you leave home. The gallery above shows some of the roads across the U.P. on Tuesday.

You can also get weather updates sent to your phone through the WJMN Local 3 App on Google Play and the App Store.

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