By MELINDA WILLIAMS
Rain that turned to icy precipitation Wednesday morning sent vehicles sliding off roads and into objects, keeping Virginia State Police busy working wrecks.
First Sgt. Mike Honaker said the inclement weather caused “extremely dangerous” road conditions in Pulaski and Giles counties and contributed to more than 20 automobile crashes investigated by troopers assigned to the Dublin office. Statewide, State Police responded to nearly 700 wrecks between midnight Tuesday and 2 p.m. Wednesday.
“The inclement weather and dangerous road conditions required that we call out additional manpower to supplement the troopers we already had working due to the large number of crashes and motorists who were in need of assistance,” Honaker said.
As of Wednesday evening none of the crashes investigated by local troopers resulted in serious injuries or extensive property damage. Honaker stated, “It seems that for the most part, we’ve just had a lot of people sliding off of the roadways and either striking an embankment or becoming stuck in the ditch line.”
State Police were urging citizens to stay off roads if possible, especially overnight when temperatures were expected to drop into the upper 20s.
However, those who have to travel in inclement weather are offered the following safety tips:
•Drive for conditions and slow down when possible.
•Make sure headlights, taillights and windshield wipers are in working order. Brush snow off taillights, headlights and windows to increase visibility for yourself and other drivers.
•Increase driving distances. Provide more space between you and the vehicle in front of you so that if you or the other motorist loses control you will have that extra driving space to safely react and stop.
•Always wear seat belts.
•Give yourself extra drive time. Bring along your cell phone charger, and be prepared for winter travel.
•When traveling in rain, remember state law requires vehicles to have their headlights on when windshield wipers are activated. Also, beware of standing water as heavy rains cause water to pool on roadways. Never drive through high water.