RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) – As Tuesday's forecast becomes clear, drivers are probably starting to worry about the morning commute. Road crews aren't waiting for the first flake to fall; the Virginia Department of Transportation has already been out for hours pretreating roads. Drivers need to take their safety into their own hands by preparing for possible treacherous conditions.
When you take a wintry mix on the pavement add some seemingly small mistakes, you've got messy morning rush hour.
"In inclement weather people tend to overreact to the situation at hand," explained State Police Sgt. Thomas Molnar.
When a storm blows through during the morning commute, the most common accidents are small fender benders or chain reaction crashes, people driving too fast and not increasing their following distance.
Back on December 16th when a storm slammed the Richmond area during the morning rush, troopers responded to almost 100 crashes.
"We know it will take some added time to get to you," said Molnar. "We give priority to injury accidents but if you're involved in a minor accident - we will get to you."
Calling police when you get into an accident is not only important, it's actually the law. You could face criminal charges if you don't and a report will be helpful when you file your insurance claim.
Farm Bureau Insurance Vice President of Claims Rick Mattox explained there are some details you need to exchange. He advises motorists to get insurance information, license plate and driver's license numbers, phone numbers and addresses.
"As much information as you can get to provide to your insurance company in order to speed the process up," he said.
If your accident occurs on the interstate, call #77 for Virginia State Police. On all other roads simply call 911. While you're waiting for help, you can call the insurance company hotline, which should be listed on the back of your card to start the claims process as early as possible.