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As winter returns, prepare for hazardous driving

Posted at 6:35 PM, Oct 10, 2018
and last updated 2018-10-10 20:16:54-04

Areas of winter weather across Montana have caused a spike in accidents over the last week.

The Montana Highway Patrol urges drivers to be mentally prepared to drive in winter weather. Road, weather, and driving conditions can change quickly in southwest Montana, especially through mountain passes.

With temperatures hovering right around freezing, MHP Seargent Patrick McLaughlin says the places on the road to freeze first are elevated surfaces, especially bridge decks.

“When you’re approaching those bridge decks, it’s best to let off the gas. And have your foot hovering and be ready. If you need to brake you can, but you don’t want any quick movements. So accelerating is bad, quick braking is bad, and turning the wheel. So you want to be in a hover just in case something happens up above,” he said.

Sgt. McLaughlin also suggested increasing your following distance and leaving early to give yourself plenty of time to reach your destination safely in bad weather.