Florence Police urge driver safety and awareness on ice-covered roads

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FLORENCE, Ala. (WHNT) - With the impending winter weather bearing down on north Alabama, police want to remind drivers of some safety tips to keep in mind.

As snow and freezing rain begin to fall across the valley, police said it's time for drivers to take their safety precautions.  One of the biggest problems Florence Traffic Division Sergeant Chris Ticer sees is when drivers start scrambling to get where they need to go after the event has already started.

"Even though the speed limit may say 45, the road conditions usually are not. It's not a good decision to try and do 45 with the road conditions like they are,” Ticer stated. “But anytime you've got snow or ice on the roadway you need to slow down."

As drivers try to stay at the speed limit, Ticer said they follow other drivers way too closely.  Not only does Ticer suggest slowing your speed, but increasing the distance between you and the driver ahead of you.

"When they are on a bridge, do not slam on their brakes. Try and slow down before you get to it and ease across any bridge or overpass. Sometimes it may not be safe enough to go across," explained Ticer.

And police say to know your vehicle.  If it's equipped with anti-lock brakes, apply firm pressure to slow down.  If your vehicle is equipped with older manual brakes, pump them gently.

One last tidbit to make it home safely -- if you begin to slide stay calm, ease off the gas, and steer the vehicle into the direction you want to go.

The biggest suggestion police across north Alabama can make is stay off the roads if they become covered in ice or snow.  But if you have to travel, give yourself plenty of time to get there and drive slowly.