COLUMBIA, Mo. (KMIZ)
The Missouri State Highway Patrol responded to around 60 calls for service on Thursday and around 500 so far in January because of winter weather.
MSHP Sgt. Scott White said troopers responded to 16 crashes, 37 calls for service, four stranded drivers and two injuries before 10 a.m. Thursday morning because of slush on the wet roads.
ABC 17 News experimented with MSHP to see what happens when you drive a car through slush on wet roads.
"As he comes down the roadway here we’re going to see a lot of the problems that we saw earlier today," White said as an ABC 17 News crew member drove in the wet and slush. "We had long stretches of highway that were clear and had areas that were slushy."
MSHP says the best thing way to stop or slow down is to keep your heel on the floor, push down on the brake and let your car’s automatic brake system help you regain control.
"Sometimes we go for our safety button, which is the brake pedal," White said. "So when we hit those slushy areas some of the folks were hitting their brake pedals and then they were starting to lose control or they started to do things abruptly, whether steer or brake.”
MSHP said drivers that act abruptly and make quick movements on roads that are wet, slushy or snow-covered could end up in the ditch.
"When we pull up to a vehicle that’s in the median or in the ditch many times the driver will tell us 'I wasn’t speeding,'" said White. "Meaning they were likely driving the speed limit but you have to use the highest degree of care and sometimes driving at the speed limit as the weather is bad is not what is the highest degree of care.”
White stresses that drivers need to be cautious when driving on wet roads because even going the speed limit could be dangerous.
"We definitely suggest that folks get themselves time to react to something in front of them," White said. "If you’re within two or three car lengths at 60 mph that’s just not enough time to react."
MSHP said many winter accidents are caused by cars following too close to each other and not giving themselves enough room or time to stop. The best thing drivers can do to prevent injuries in a crash is to wear their seatbelts.