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Winter is Here! But are Drivers Ready? - Valley News Live - KVLY/KXJB - Fargo/Grand Forks

Winter is Here! But are Drivers Ready?

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If you have been on the roads you know folks are re-acquainting themselves with winter driving. Even if you grew up in the Midwest. It seems like every year when we get that first real snow people forget how to drive on the slick stuff. Today Valley News team's Eric Crest hopped into a squad car with the Fargo police department.. to get a seasonal refresher course on how to be safe out there.

It's wet, it's slippery and it's likely only going to get worse from here on out.

"I know officers are going to be tied up doing a lot of motor vehicle crash reports," says Sgt. Ryan Dorheim of the Fargo Police Department.

Locally the Fargo Police have had their hands full thanks to our first significant snow fall Monday morning.

"Just because it's the first snowfall it shouldn't catch us off guard," says Sgt. Dorheim.

So how do you prepare for the unexpected? For starters, Sgt. Dorheim says try slowing down.

"This is a posted 35 miles per hour roadway. I am only traveling 28 miles per hour."

Even though most of us are constantly in a rush, try not to push the driver in front of you. A good distance between you and them is only going to make you safer.

"A three car length minimum is what is recommended and that's during ideal conditions. Here I have 4 to 5 (lengths) in front of us and I would feel confident if that vehicle came to an abrupt stop I would have that same amount of reaction time and stopping distance," Sgt. Dorheim.

Cruise control is not your friend when the roads are this bad, so turn it off. Even though you may have four wheel drive you're not invincible.

"It's not like you can steer better in four wheel drive," says Sgt. Dorheim.

While it's not necessarily going to happen, the only thing worse than getting into a wreck on the account of this snow is getting a ticket to back it up.

"If you haven't increased that following distance and you weren't able to stop in time for the vehicle ahead of you may not anticipate that you're going to get a 20 dollar citation for following too close," Sgt. Dorheim says.

So try to stay safe out there as we all try to find our bearings once again in this winter wonderland.

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