NEWS Icy roads lead to increase in accidents

Icy roads lead to increase in accidents

NOVEMBER 23 – GRANT COUNTY – Icy roads kept Grant County first responders busy on Tuesday.

“Unfortunately, on the first day of every year (in icy weather), there are always multiple accidents,” said Grant County Fire Department District 7 Superintendent Josh Chambers. “Now, we don’t usually see fatalities like yesterday, but the first day is always chaotic; it’s hard for people to get used to the icy roads.”

They responded to two weather-related calls, Chambers said. The first call was a motor vehicle fatality and the second was a medical call because parents were reluctant to drive their children to the hospital on icy roads. While they also responded to a second death, they don’t believe it was related to the weather.

The GCSO responded to 13 collisions between 10 a.m. and 10 p.m. Tuesday, according to Kyle Foreman, public information officer for the Grant County Sheriff’s Office.

“It’s a higher-than-normal number,” Foreman said. “It can be assumed that icy roads contributed to the increase in calls.”

Only one of these collisions resulted in a death, the same death that GCFD 7 responded to.

Forman also noted that not all weather-related collisions have to be reported, or information may not be available, because they did not result in injuries or significant damage to vehicles.

MACC Dispatch staff said they had received 20 calls to crashes on Tuesday, compared with four the previous day.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 17 percent of all crashes happen in winter. NHTSA also said there were 374 fatal crashes and an estimated 25,000 crashes involving injuries in cold conditions in 2020.

Some winter driving tips from NHSTA include:

-slow down

– Increased following distance

— Don’t squeeze on snowplows or drive next to trucks

In an emergency, NHSTA recommends:

—Stay in your car and don’t overwork yourself.

– Make your car visible. Place bright markers on antennas or windows, and keep indoor overhead lights on.

– Watch out for carbon monoxide poisoning. Make sure your tailpipes are clear of any snow, and only run your car occasionally – just long enough to keep it warm. Do not run your car with the windows up or in an enclosed space for extended periods of time.

Rebecca Pettingill can be reached at

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