Missoula roads can be especially dangerous during the winter and snow has already begun to fall in the valley. Montana Highway Patrol  Captain James Kitchin offered some safety tips for drivers.

“The first thing you need to do is make sure your vehicle is equipped with good tires,” Kitchin said. “You need to slow down and take more time getting to where you are going. We had a lot of crashes over the last few days and it is pretty evident that the winter driving conditions have already hit. People just need to slow down and watch out for ice on bridge decks. Early morning commutes and evening commutes with visibility are going to be a challenge as well.”

According to Kitchin, highways are often the most hazardous when it comes to winter travel.

“The speed limit in a lot of places now is 80 miles per hour,” Kitchin said. “When the road conditions deteriorate a little bit, that speed limit is not correct as far as travel goes. You need to slow down. If you do have a four wheel drive vehicle, just because you have four wheels drive doesn’t mean four wheels stop. We have a lot of issues with that. People think that they can throw their vehicle in four wheel drive and take off down the road and they are going to be fine. That is not the case.”

Kitchen says it is important that drivers don’t drink and drive, buckle up, and drive defensively.