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OHP Preps for Hectic Roads During Storm

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LAWTON Okla_ The Oklahoma Highway Patrol is gearing up for the worst when it comes to traffic in this winter storm.

Troopers will be out in full force through most of Tuesday. They will be keeping a close eye on how you're driving and how fast.

OHP Trooper Richard Van Horn said one thing they're not expecting is everyone to stay home. He offered a few tips on what people need to keep in mind, should they find their drive out in the cold lasting longer than they intended.

"The worst is when snow on the ground has accumulated," Van Horn said. "The roadways are frozen over with a sheet of ice, and when you get strong winds that are blowing the snow you get what they call a whiteout."

Trooper Van Horn said for motorists who do venture out, that combination can cause them to do anything from drive into a ditch to crash into one another. He said that's what OHP will be keeping a close watch for in this snow storm.

"We're basically going to be out looking to who we can help get back on the roadway or get home," Van Horn said.

Trooper Van Horn prefers drivers not to venture out on roads like this during bad weather, but he knows there are some that will take their chance. For those that do, he offers them safety tips they should remember.

"The main thing is slow down and give yourself plenty of time to get where you are going," Van Horn said. "If you're going to be late somewhere, just face it, you're going to be late. It's snowing. The roads are covered with ice."

Van Horn said if you find yourself playing the Good Samaritan, stay alert.

"Be careful," Van Horn said. "If you do get out of your car in winter conditions, watch your surroundings. Always check where traffic is coming from, to see if a vehicle could be sliding or coming off the road."

He said because it's not just drivers who get into trouble in this kind of weather; troopers can, too.

"That's one of the major things that kills troopers when we're out here working," Van Horn said, "Especially in these conditions. We have to get out and help people."

Van Horn also mentioned for those traveling to be sure to have plenty of warm clothes and blankets handy. Keep a phone charger handy. If you have to call for help, make sure to keep your car visible by turning on the hazard lights.

 

 

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