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Friday, January 21, 2011
OKLAHOMA CITY – Prompted by three traffic fatalities attributed to slick road conditions on Thursday, Oklahoma Insurance Commissioner John Doak today urged Sooner State motorists to be better prepared for wintry weather before traveling, and to use more caution once on the road.
The Oklahoma Highway Patrol reported the deaths of a 70-year-old man in a rollover accident in Marshall County, a 47-year-old man who died in a crash near Ardmore, and a 37-year-old tractor-trailer driver whose truck overturned near Cheyenne in the western part of the state.
“These fatalities emphasize how perilous road conditions can become, even with only an inch or two of snow or a light glazing of ice,” Doak said today. “It’s best to stay off the road in bad weather unless absolutely necessary, as the safest course is to not put yourself in a hazardous position at all. If forced to drive, motorists would be wise to put added emphasis on the rules of the road that we all should be observing every day – wear your seat belt, slow down as road conditions deteriorate, don’t follow too closely, and avoid abrupt stops or maneuvers.”
The commissioner also advised motorists to properly maintain their vehicle to ensure safer winter driving by topping off all fluids, replacing a weak battery or bad windshield wipers, checking the tires, and making sure headlights, brake lights, turn signals and all safety equipment are fully functional.
Commissioner Doak and the Oklahoma Insurance Department offer these additional winter travel preparation, driving and emergency tips gleaned from AAA Oklahoma, the Oklahoma Highway Safety Office and the National Association of Insurance Commissioners.