Emergency Personnel Offer Tips For Winter Traveling - Beckley, Bluefield & Lewisburg News, Weather, Sports

Emergency Personnel Offer Tips For Winter Traveling

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FAIRMONT -

Emergency personnel respond to vehicle accidents on a daily basis, whether its bad weather outside or not. But they believe this winter the numbers have been even higher than normal.

"With cold weather we see a lot more snow, ice. Drivers leave their house and they underestimate the road conditions," said Dusty Lambert, Fairmont Fire Department.

Bad road conditions lead to vehicle accidents.

"In the last several days we have had record numbers of AAA members call for road service. Many of which are folks who have slid into ditches as you might expect," said Wayne Northey, AAA West Virginia Region.

Firefighters said there are several reasons for all of the accidents.

"They are not preparing their vehicles properly. They are not cleaning off their windshield, not cleaning off the snow on top of them. When you hit your brakes that all comes down on top of the vehicle. Underestimating the road conditions and underestimating your abilities to drive on the road conditions," Lambert said.

Firefighters said the snow covered roads are the ones that can get people into a lot of trouble. They think just because its covered with snow, they can still go the normal speed limit and they wont get into an accident. When in reality, its actually a sheet of ice underneath all of the snow.

"All wheel drive or four wheel drive vehicles are tremendous in the snow. They are tremendous for getting you moving. But they wont stop you from sliding so don't be braver then you should be," Northey said.

Pumping your brakes has become a thing of the past due to vehicle innovations.

"If you have anti-lock brakes on your car, they can pump it a lot faster than you can pump it," Lambert said. "That can give you the capabilities to control your vehicle while you're in a slide."

Governor Earl Ray Tomblin issued a statement on Thursday asking people to stay off the roads during hazardous conditions.

With 3-5 more inches of snow on the way, it's better to be safe than sorry.