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Since the start of severe winter weather on November 20, 2013 until March 3, Wisconsin State Patrol Northwest Region troopers and inspectors have responded to more than 640 traffic crashes (including 120 crashes with injuries) and more than 740 instances in which drivers lost control and slid off the roadway. In addition, they have assisted 1,788 motorists experiencing trouble in winter storms.
“Although we’re all eagerly awaiting spring, there likely will be more rounds of snow and cold in coming weeks,” says State Patrol Capt. Jeffrey Frenette. “During winter weather, we see far too many drivers involved in crashes and run-offs. If you drive too fast for existing and ever changing conditions or follow vehicles too closely you are far more likely to cause a crash or fail to avoid one.”
To prevent crashes and the serious injuries and deaths they may cause, the State Patrol urges everyone to:
• Slow down. Posted speed limits many be too fast for conditions when roads are slippery or visibility is limited.
• Increase following distances between vehicles—allow at least four seconds behind the vehicle ahead of you.
• Stay inside your vehicle if possible with your seat belt buckled until help arrives if your vehicle slides off the road or is disabled.
• Always buckle up.
• Drive sober.
• Make sure your vehicle is mechanically sound.
• Plan ahead and leave plenty of time to reach your destination.