TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTHI) - Winter weather arrived abruptly this week creating some havoc on the roadways. Between bad roads and the cold, many schools didn't have class today and others had delays.
Putnamville's State Police post responded to more than 30 calls between Monday night and throughout the day on Tuesday. Sergeant Matt Ames of Indiana State Police told News 10 what you and your family should look out for to stay safe.
ISP went to calls for both minor slide-offs and accidents. Even in the heart of the day, Ames says part of the problem is some roads have been covered by shade and stayed icy. Also on the interstate, bridges and overpasses have cool air coming from underneath them. This allows snow, slush, and ice to stay there longer.
Ames says you should allow yourself an extra 15 to 30 minutes to travel wherever you are going. Simply, he says, people need to adjust to this weather and drive slower to stay safe. "People will be driving 70 to 75 miles per hour and then all of a sudden they'll hit a bridge and that bridge is completely frozen at the time," he said, "That's when we'll have people bouncing off the guard rail and going into the median."
Ames says first, you should make sure you warm your car up a little before you get going and clear off any snow from your windows so you can see. He says usually, you should look two to three cars ahead of you while driving. Now as wintry conditions are here and roads are worse, you should try to look four to five cars ahead and stay alert.
If you approach an accident, be sure to turn your hazard lights on to alert other drivers. If you find yourself in an accident, be sure to have a keen sense of where you are to tell authorities. Also, stress to them if it's just a property damage accident or if there are injuries involved so they know the urgency of the situation.
Ames says all these things can make you a better driver during the winter. "We need people to drive with more caution when the snow and ice start to fall," he said, "It allows us to be able to respond to other emergency calls versus other people who are not paying attention to their driving habits."