For Immediate Release
Traffic report card shows fatality crashes decrease
The Public Works Department has released the October 2013 Crash Report Card for Jan. 1 through Oct. 31.
There have been eight fatality crashes this year compared to 18 fatality crashes in the same time period in 2012. The number of total and injury crashes has increased by 1 percent respectively compared to the same period last year.
Black ice & other winter driving conditions
Now that most major streets have been cleared, many drivers pick up speed, giving the impression that the roadways are snow and ice-free. However, with the current weather conditions, it is important to be prepared to encounter "black ice." This type of ice isn't black, as the name implies, but is rather a clear, glossy sheet that blends in with the pavement color and sidewalks. Unless the sun happens to shine at it in a certain angle revealing the shine, it's typically invisible to drivers.
When you find yourself sliding on icy roadways, remember the following:
- Ideally, give the car little to no driver input to allow the car to pass over black ice. Steer straight, take the foot off the gas, but don't brake, if you can help it. Usually black ice patches aren't longer than 20 feet.
- If the back end of your car starts sliding to one side, gently steer into that direction.
- If you start skidding, use the brakes gently.
- If you need to perform an emergency stop, press ABS brakes firmly. For non-ABS brakes, pump.
Other winter driving tips:
- Stay home, if you can. Have a winter emergency kit in your car: Flashlight, blankets/coat, gloves & boots, first aid kit, warning triangle or flare, seat belt cutter, high energy foods, water, tools, sand or kitty litter for traction, ice scraper. For more information contact your county's emergency personnel.
- Tires need to be fully inflated and should have sufficient tread.
- Keep gas tank at least half full to avoid gas line freeze-up and in case of gas unavailability.
- Take your time, drive slowly and leave yourself plenty of room to stop. You should allow at least three times more space than usual between you and the car in front of you.
- Brake gently to avoid skidding. Use low gears if applicable.
- Don't use cruise control on icy roads.
- Give snow plows and emergency personnel plenty of room.
- Park on level ground and avoid braking on a hill, if possible.
- Keep your head lights on.
- If your rear wheels slide, gently steer into that direction.
For more information contact: Mandy Buettgen-Quinn in Public Works – Traffic Operations, 864-1801.