LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WHAS11) – As the start of the winter season nears, Kentucky State Police are urging motorists to use safe driving habits.

Officials say slick roads were a contributing factor to more than 12,000 accidents and 69 deaths in 2017.

Here are tips to help you stay safe during the winter.

●Call 511 or 1-866-737-3767 for latest road/traffic conditions.

●Refrain from calling 911 for road or weather conditions due to high call volume. Dispatch centers need the lines open to assist callers who have emergencies.

● Reduce speed in wintry conditions.

●Leave early – allow more travel time; expect delays.

●Increase distance between vehicles – the ability to stop is significantly affected on snow-covered or icy roadways

●Clear all windows on your vehicle prior to travel – having unobstructed vision is vital to avoid running off of the road or having a collision.

●Ensure your windshield washer fluid is full and that you use an anti-ice solution.

●Turn on your vehicle’s headlamps. Remove any dirt, mud or snow.

●Use caution on bridges and overpasses as they are susceptible to freezing before roadways.

●Avoid using cruise control which can cause a vehicle’s wheels to continue turning on a slippery surface when speed needs to be decreased.

●Ensure your vehicle has a full tank of gas in the event you are stranded for an extended period of time.

●Charge your cellular phone prior to departure.

●Always dress warmly and keep a blanket in the vehicle.

●Carry a winter survival kit that includes items such as blankets, a first-aid kit, a can and waterproof matches (to melt snow for water), windshield scraper, booster cables, road maps, toolkit, bag of sand or cat litter (to pour on ice or snow for added traction), collapsible shovel, flashlight and extra batteries.

KSP is also requesting travelers to observe for stranded motorists. If you see or suspect that someone is stranded, contact KSP at 1-800-222-5555.

Police say if you get stranded, stay in your vehicle because it’s the safest choice. Here are bonus tips:

●Tie a brightly colored cloth to the antenna as a signal to rescuers.

●Move anything you need from the trunk into the passenger area.

●Wrap your entire body, including your head, in blankets, or extra clothing.

●Stay awake. You will be less vulnerable to cold-related health problems.

●Run the motor (and heater) for about 10 minutes per hour, opening one window slightly to let air in. Make sure that snow is not blocking the exhaust pipe as this will reduce the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning.

●As you sit, keep moving your arms and legs to improve your circulation and stay warmer.

●Do not eat un-melted snow. It will lower your body temperature.

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