Indiana first responders prepare for an increase in accidents this winter

SPEEDWAY, Ind. – Winter weather is almost here in central Indiana, but with the change in season comes an increased danger on Hoosier roadways.

Fire crews with the Wayne Township Fire Department spent most of the day Friday at the Zore’s Towing junkyard training on various vehicle extrication scenarios. A timely endeavor as the rate of car accidents in Indiana skyrockets during the winter season.

“We have to be prepared for those cold weather responses when the weather starts changing on us,” Captain Mike Pruitt said.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, between 2011 and 2015 there was an average of 49 deaths on Indiana roadways in accidents where winter weather was a factor. It’s a total that makes Indiana one of the deadliest states in the country for winter accidents.

“The biggest heart break for any crash, specifically in the winter months is that the crash could be prevented, that somebody did something to cause that crash,” Indiana State Police Sargent John Perrine said.

Perrine added that many winter-related accidents could be avoided if drivers followed practices such as reducing their speed, limiting distractions, and increasing the follow distance while on roadways. However he said unfortunately that doesn’t tend to happen.

“One action of one person could have life changing effects for a lot of people,” Perrine said.

Fellow first responders say they can’t stress enough the importance of careful driving during the winter, adding that while they have the ability to rescue people from crushed cars, it’s a skill they’d rather not have to use.