Pine Belt urged to drive safely in hazardous winter conditions

HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - Black ice and snow can make for very hazardous driving conditions. Although these do not occur frequently in the Pine Belt, it is important to know what to do if they are encountered while traveling.

"The first thing I'd recommend when driving in the winter weather is slow down," said Terry Steed, Executive Director of the Emergency Management District. "Leave additional space between your car and the car in front of you."

Steed advised travelers to check the weather forecast for the areas they're traveling through as well as their final destination. It is also a good idea to plan a specific travel route and share it with someone, checking in with them along the way.

Proper tire pressure and good tread are essential as well as safety kits kept in the vehicle. Kits should include blankets, water, and non-perishable food and can save lives in case of emergency.

"With winter driving, number one, make sure you have plenty of air in your tires," advised Mike Davis, General Manager of D&D Tires. "As the air temperature gets colder, your tire pressure starts to decrease. You want to have that checked periodically. Number two, you want to make sure you have good tread on your tires."

Although no rain is forecast in combination with next week's frigid temperatures, Pine Belt residents are advised to drive safely.

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