Icy morning commute leads to dozens of car accidents

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (ADAMS) – It was an icy commute in the Summit City Wednesday morning. Temperatures around 7 a.m. hovered right around the freezing mark.  That was just enough to make for dangerous driving conditions.  The melting snow and ice caused for re-freeze on some roadways, but black ice was widely reported throughout Fort Wayne and surrounding counties. Areas of I-69 (from the 309 – 312-mile markers) and I-469 (from the 28 to 31-mile markers) were the scenes of multiple slide-off crashes throughout the morning commute.

Fort Wayne police released its official number for accidents Wednesday morning.

Police say they responded to 45 accidents. Only 3 of them involved any injuries.

Fort Wayne is looking ahead to Friday morning, when another winter weather event is set to hit the city. Remember that bridges, overpasses, and ramps will generally be slicker than main roads.  Give yourself lots of stopping distance between you and other vehicles.  And of course, if you encounter city or INDOT trucks, give them lots of space to do their jobs.

According to AAA.com, these are some of the tips you should follow during winter conditions:

-Accelerate and decelerate slowly. Applying the gas slowly to accelerate is the best method for regaining traction and avoiding skids. Don’t try to get moving in a hurry. And take time to slow down for a stoplight. Remember: It takes longer to slow down on icy roads.

-Drive slowly. Everything takes longer on snow-covered roads. Accelerating, stopping, turning – nothing happens as quickly as on dry pavement. Give yourself time to maneuver by driving slowly.

-The normal dry pavement following distance of three to four seconds should be increased to eight to ten seconds. This increased margin of safety will provide the longer distance needed if you have to stop.

-Know your brakes. Whether you have antilock brakes or not, the best way to stop is threshold breaking. Keep the heel of your foot on the floor and use the ball of your foot to apply firm, steady pressure on the brake pedal.

-Don’t stop if you can avoid it. There’s a big difference in the amount of inertia it takes to start moving from a full stop versus how much it takes to get moving while still rolling. If you can slow down enough to keep rolling until a traffic light changes, do it.

-Don’t power up hills. Applying extra gas on snow-covered roads just starts your wheels spinning. Try to get a little inertia going before you reach the hill and let that inertia carry you to the top. As you reach the crest of the hill, reduce your speed and proceed downhill as slowly as possible.

-Don’t stop going up a hill. There’s nothing worse than trying to get moving up a hill on an icy road. Get some inertia going on a flat roadway before you take on the hill.

-Stay home. If you really don’t have to go out, don’t. Even if you can drive well in the snow, not everyone else can. Don’t tempt fate: If you don’t have somewhere you have to be, watch the snow from indoors.