Snow and Ice Create Dangerous Road Conditions in Mid-Missouri
Snow and ice over the last week has caused dangerous road conditions in Columbia and surrounding areas. Since Friday morning, nearly 400 accidents have been reportedly caused by icy conditions. Additionally, first responders have been called to over 800 service calls related to the icy conditions. While the roads have been treated with salt and treatment chemicals, the Missouri Department of Transportation has stated that the treatments are not as effective in the extreme cold.
Drivers should be aware that pavements may change from wet to ice nearly instantaneously in such conditions, and roads may be slick even if they appear to be dry. In order to avoid accidents, drivers should observe the following driving tips for winter weather:
- Make sure your tires are properly inflated and are not excessively worn.
- Do not use cruise control while driving on icy roads.
- Accelerate and decelerate slowly.
- Leave extra room in between you and the car in front of you.
- Begin slowing well in advance of turns, stoplights, or stop signs.
- Drive slowly to give yourself time to maneuver.
- Avoid spinning your tires when climbing hills and making turns.
- Check your mirrors often and be aware of your surroundings. If you or a driver near you begin to lose control, being aware of your surroundings may allow you to avoid a collision.
Ultimately, the safest thing to do in extreme weather conditions may be to stay home. If you do not have to leave your home in icy conditions, it is safer to stay in and allow road crews to clean up the roads before you attempt to leave.