INDIANAPOLIS, Ind.— Overnight snowfall caused problems for motorists across central Indiana early Monday morning. Traffic was slow during the morning commute and several accidents were reported.
Indy Snow Force had 39 plow drivers working overnight into Monday morning. Additional drivers were brought in as road conditions deteriorated.
“There was some freezing so they had to put some salt down they also noticed that residents were driving a lot faster because it didn’t look as bad as it was as far as slickness goes,” said Lesley Gordon with the Department of Public Works.
Additional plow crews are expected to be out on the roads Monday night. Indy Snow Force expects to have 90 drivers on the road.
Indiana State Police said troopers responded to nine personal injuries, 59 crashes and 26 slide-offs from 12 a.m. until noon. Luckily, no serious or life-threatening injuries were reported.
Officials are turning to technology to assist in keeping roads safe. A new computer system allows DPW officials to tap into a network of cameras and see real-time weather conditions. The technology gives them an idea of how many people to put out on the roads and helps with their bottom line.
“This is a great tool. It helps us save money on the budget,” said Steve Pruitt, DPW. “It gives us a better chance of going out and knowing what we’re fighting when it starts. If it were a rain or sleet mix, it would also show up in the color graphs.”
ISP offers the following safety tips for motorists:
- Before traveling, check the forecast and let someone know your travel route
- Keep your gas tank at least half-full
- Carry a winter driving kit that should include blankets, flashlight, extra batteries, a brightly colored cloth, sand (or kitty litter), shovel, candle, matches, non-perishable high calorie food, first aid kit, and jumper cables
- Have a cell phone and charger cord
- Slow down on snow/ice covered roads
- Allow extra time to arrive at your destination
- Clear all vehicle windows of ice and snow. Remove snow from hood, roof and lights.
- Use extra caution when driving across bridges, underpasses, shaded areas and intersections where ice is slow to melt
- Avoid abrupt stops and starts. Slow down gradually.
Should you become stranded:
- Don’t leave your car. It’s the best protection you have.
- Tie a brightly colored cloth to your antenna
- Roll down your window a small amount to allow fresh air in your vehicle
- Keep exhaust pipe free of blockage to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning
- Don’t panic. An idling car uses approximately one gallon of gas per hour
For Indiana road conditions call 1-800-261-7623, or visit the Indiana Department of Transportation website at www.trafficwise.in.gov.