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State police warn of potentially dangerous driving conditions

Last Modified: Wednesday, November 27, 2013 11:25 AM

By State Police / Special to the American Press

Weather forecasts indicate a strong possibility of rain or sleet along with cold weather in parts of Louisiana Monday night and Tuesday.

There is a potential for black ice, a thin, nearly invisible coating of ice that forms on paved surfaces. This type of weather pattern can be dangerous for motorists who are traveling along Louisiana highways, as most are not accustomed to such conditions.

State Police are urging motorists to keep abreast of the latest weather and travel conditions before deciding whether a trip is necessary, as rain/sleet can cause bridges and overpasses to ice quickly, particularly in the evening hours if temperatures are below or near the freezing mark. If bridges and overpasses accumulate ice, state police will continue to work closely with the Department of Transportation and Development to take appropriate measures.

As conditions change, motorists are reminded to drive responsibly and be prepared for uncertain driving conditions. Do not drive using the cruise control in icy conditions, allow ample time to reach your destination, allow extra space between vehicles, and keep vehicle headlights on. If you should have vehicle problems, be sure to stay with your vehicle, as freezing temperatures can be life-threatening. Have a survival kit: emergency first aid kit, blankets, jumper cables, high-energy or dehydrated foods, flashlight with extra batteries, extra (charged) cell phone battery, emergency flares, and bottled water.

This would be an excellent time to check the condition of your vehicle’s tires, battery, windshield wipers and antifreeze. Low tread on tires can cause a vehicle to lose traction in all weather conditions. Weak batteries can prevent vehicles from starting in cold weather. Anti-freeze will protect your engine and radiator from freezing up due to cold temperatures. If you experience difficulties or witness hazardous situations while on the highway, notify your local State Police Troop office by dialing *LSP (*577) from your cell phone.

Citizens and visitors are also urged to enroll in Nixle Alerts for real time updates on roadway closures, crash locations, and pertinent safety information for their region. To enroll, visit www.nixle.com, complete the required information, and select Louisiana State Police as your agency.

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