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Sunday, May 1, 2016

Motorists struggle with season's first snow

Thursday, December 2, 2010

GREENCASTLE -- As the first snow hit the ground, some Putnam County residents didn't adapt well to the change in the weather.

"We had quite a few who slid off the road earlier," said Putnam County Sheriff Steve Fenwick. "The roads cleared after morning."

Sergeant Joe Watts, the Indiana State Police Putnamville District public information officer, agreed by saying that the number of accidents was high in the morning.

"We were very busy this morning," Watts said. "Really, the peak time this morning was from about 6 a.m. to about 10:15 a.m."

The Putnamville State Police reported 12 crashes and seven slide-offs before 11 a.m. this morning.

Watts said that he thought the accidents were a result of drivers not adjusting to the weather.

"It was very busy because normally people are on their way to work and they allow themselves a certain amount of minutes going to work so you have a couple of problems arise," Watts said. "They don't realize the roads are that slick and they try and drive as fast as they would on a normal dry road because they're allowing themselves that same amount of time."

Fenwick agreed, saying that it's important to be aware of the road conditions this time of year, especially while on side roads.

Watts said that there was another reason to allow for more time; accidents create traffic back-ups.

"Another things motorists seem to not realize sometimes is motorists that have crashes often back up traffic," Watts said. "When you have a lot of accidents in the morning, when it's either rainy or icy or snowy it will also back up traffic and cause people to be late for work. It causes them to be anxious, to drive faster to try and make up that time. Many different factors arise when you have a lot of crashes."

Watts said that it's important for drivers to adjust to this weather.

"Especially that first time it's just important to allow yourself that extra time," Watts said. "Drive within your means. Make sure your car has a full tank of gas, make sure you have all of the ice and snow off of your windows so you can see and make sure you have a fully charged cell phone."

Watts also warned to be aware of the type of road you're driving on.

"Remember that hill crests and bridge overpasses are going to be the slickest areas and are going to freeze over first," Watts said.

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