Amidst winter driving conditions, be prepared before you leave your home

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Posted at 5:56 PM, Nov 07, 2022

HELENA — Inches of snow currently cover the Helena Valley. And with that snow comes ice, and slick conditions for cars. The Montana Highway Patrol wants to remind folks to be ready for anything and pack away emergency preparedness kits.

“Plan ahead, slow down. Make sure your vehicle’s in winter operating condition. Meaning: check those tires, check the brakes, make sure that you have a full tank of fuel, make sure you've checked all the fluids. And then have an emergency preparedness kit,” says Sgt. Jay Nelson of the Montana Highway Patrol.

Sgt. Nelson says that in the past 24 hours there have been over 125 crashes statewide.

Helena Police Department told MTN News that as of Monday afternoon they’ve responded to 10 vehicle crashes since midnight.

In light of the recent snowfall and onset of cold weather and dangerous driving conditions, it’s important to remember the essentials when leaving your home.

An emergency preparedness kit can be a life-changing thing to have when headed out.

The Montana Department of Transportation has a whole list of items, but a few of the basics include a flashlight, extra batteries, a first aid kit, blankets, a whistle, flares, and more.

“The importance of that emergency preparedness kit truly could be life and death. When temperatures reach these levels, and they're going to get colder, we all know that. Just a matter of minutes, if you're not prepared for that, could cause serious injury or death,” says Sgt. Nelson.

Sgt. Nelson also wants to remind folks to slow down on snowy and icy roads and use caution.

“We have to increase that stopping distance. We have to slow down and be prudent below the speed limit, so we don't have more crashes than we already do,” says Sgt. Nelson.