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Commonwealth of Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles
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Virginia Highway Safety Office News Releases

Tuesday, December 4, 2007
Media Contact: Melanie Stokes
Department of Motor Vehicles
(804) 367-6623

Winter Weather May Cause Hazardous Driving Conditions
Motorists Urged to Drive Carefully

RICHMOND - Snowy and icy conditions make driving a challenge and the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles encourages motorists to use caution during inclement weather.

If you must drive your car during wintry weather, be sure to remove all snow from your vehicle before driving, including off the roof of your vehicle. Snow falling onto the roadway from your vehicle while it is moving is a safety hazard to you and other motorists on the road.

Slow down and increase your following distance during winter weather conditions. The braking distance for road surfaces with rain, snow, and ice can be from three to nine times greater than stopping distances on dry, clear roads. Icy conditions may also obscure lane marking and traffic signs. Motorists should be aware that even four-wheel and front-wheel drive vehicles can encounter trouble on snowy and icy roads.

Follow these tips when driving during winter weather conditions:

  • Decrease your speed
  • Turn on your lights
  • Don't use cruise control or overdrive
  • Don't pass snow plows and sanding trucks
  • Allow for extra traveling time
  • Stay in the right-hand lane except when passing
  • Steer with smooth and precise movements to prevent skidding
  • Find current road conditions by calling 511 or visiting

DMV, the Virginia Department of Transportation, Virginia State Police, AAA Mid-Atlantic and the Virginia Department of Education are challenging motorists to help prevent highway deaths this winter. The agencies are working together to reduce traffic-related deaths through a strategic public awareness campaign. The main theme of the campaign is: Are you Virginia's next traffic fatality?

To help reduce the number of traffic fatalities during winter weather, the campaign challenges motorists to adhere to the following calls to action:

Highway Safety Challenge logo
  • Buckle up
  • Avoid distractions
  • Share the road
  • Drive drug and alcohol free
  • Obey the speed limit

To learn more about the Virginia Highway Safety Challenge, visit

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