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(Jefferson City) – The Missouri State Highway Patrol is urging the public to remain aware of the hazards associated with current weather conditions.

On any given day, troopers will work an average of 100 traffic crashes statewide. When the preliminary statistics for February 4 and February 5, 2014 showed that troopers investigated 1,054 traffic crashes over those two days, it was cause for concern. Those 1,054 crashes resulted in 96 injuries and two fatalities statewide. In addition to the 1,054 traffic crashes, troopers answered 3,045 calls for assistance during those same two days. These calls included vehicles breaking down, sliding off the roadway, or vehicles being left on the side of the road impeding snow removal.

If you must venture out in winter weather, please keep the following in mind:

* Make sure your vehicle is in good condition.

* Include emergency items in your vehicle when traveling. Gather an ice scraper, tire chains, battery booster cables, flares/reflectors, blankets, gloves, flashlight, and a bag of sand or kitty litter to place in your trunk.

* Ensure your cellular phone is fully charged and functional.

* Take bottled water and a snack with you. Emergencies cannot be predicted.

* Keep your fuel tank half full or higher.

* Decrease your speed.

* Increase your following distance by several car lengths.

* Allow extra driving time for you to reach your destination at a slow, safe speed.

* Missouri law states if you’re using your windshield wipers, your headlights must be turned on.

* If your vehicle slides off the road, stay with it.

The Missouri State Highway Patrol is here to serve and protect. If you become stranded or see another vehicle stranded on the side of the road with passengers, please call the Missouri State Highway Patrol emergency number at 1-800-525-5555 or dial *55 on a cellular phone.

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