When you’re driving in snow, ice or rain, slow down and always wear your seatbelt. Photo Dale Stockton
Wear your belt and watch your speed are two of the main tenets of Law Officer's Below 100 initiative.
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As if your job isn’t stressful enough, add a foot of snow into the mix and everything from traffic stops to foot pursuits becomes even more challenging. Keep the following tips in mind during your shift in wintry weather.
1. Wear your belt; watch your speed: These are two tenets of Law Officer’s Below 100 initiative. Although they sound like common sense, the reality is that more officers die in traffic accidents each year than they do because of other circumstances. And statistics show that approximately 40% of those accidents are single vehicle accidents. “These are usually officers who are driving too fast and hit a pole or tree,” said Captain Travis Yates of Tulsa (Okla.) PD. When you’re driving in snow, ice or rain, slow down and always wear your seatbelt.
2. Dress warm and wear good boots: If you end up in foot pursuit in a foot of snow, you’ll be happy your feet and body are protected from the elements.
3. Check your tires and your equipment: When you start your shift, make sure your shotgun, radio, light bar and siren are functioning properly. Also, check your tire tread. The tread provides grip in wet conditions and prevents hydroplaning.
4. Remember safe traffic stop tactics: You can’t always control where a violator will stop, but you can increase the odds of a safe stop by knowing your beat and where the best places are to conduct business. Now is a great time to consider a passenger-side approach. It's safer and more effective.
5. Make sure you have enough first-aid supplies and that your rescue skills are up to par: Saving a life is stressful. Saving a life when it’s 10-below outside can be even more challenging. Ensure your first aid kit is stocked and that your CPR and other life-saving skills are sharp.