Avoiding accidents in snowstorms

By Gene Petriello - bio | email

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) -- We are getting ready for our fourth winter storm of the season. While the weather may be getting on the nerves of some people, it is important to be safe and follow some simple things to make sure you are not involved in an accident.

Cars fly by when the roads are clear and David Blemker has even seen some fly by when the roads are not.

"It's fine once you're moving but if you have to stop, you won't be able to slow down," says David Blemker.

Case in point, the hundreds of accident calls Virginia State Police worked over the weekend.

"People are passing me in all types of vehicles, SUVs, and I'm driving under the speed limit," says Sgt. Thomas Molnar with Virginia State Police.

With yet another winter storm heading our way, now is the time to get ready for the snowy commute.

"People need to scan ahead, see what's going on the roadway in front of them," adds Sgt. Molnar.

That means looking about 30 seconds ahead of where you are on the road, so you can easily see if there are any hazards ahead, such as troopers working accidents or slick on and off ramps.

"These yellow signs are posted by VDOT as to what a safe speed is, but in the snow and ice, that's not a safe speed to take coming around these ramps," says Sgt. Molnar.

Whether you're driving the speed limit or slower, you could be facing some serious consequences if you wreck during the storm depending on the circumstances. "In the snow and ice and you're involved in a crash, you could be subject to a reckless driving summons," says Sgt. Molnar.

That could mean a hefty fine of $2,500, possible jail time and 6 points on your license if you are found guilty.

It's all advice Blemker hopes people take, so he doesn't mutter to himself while hitting the roads during the storm. "Not so smart drivers. They're just going too fast."

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