After crashes, officials offer winter driving tips

Published: Nov. 16, 2022 at 8:48 AM EST
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CLAYTON, New York (WWNY) - There were no injuries reported after three cars went off the road, one after the other, on State Route 12E in the town of Clayton Wednesday morning.

The crashes happened around 7:30 a.m. One vehicle rolled over, another went into a ditch, and a third struck a utility pole.

The Clayton Fire Department, Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office, Thousand Islands Emergency Rescue Service and state troopers responded.

Fire officials say they were almost hit by passing cars while they were at the scene.

“Just slow down, take your time,” said Clayton Second Assistant Fire Chief Corey Dorchester. “It’s better to be safe than sorry and make sure when you see lights of firemen or police or EMS or law enforcement, you slow down because we almost had a vehicle strike one of our trucks today.”

There were many other crashes Wednesday morning. Fire officials said snowplows were having trouble keeping up with sanding and plowing.

Mike Flick at the state Department of Transportation says plow crews are working hard to keep road conditions safe, but they can’t be everywhere at once.

“If you’re on a highway and it doesn’t seem to be freshly plowed, it’s probably because they’re on their beat and they’ll be around behind you somewhere. We’re out around the clock as needed and we’re doing our thing,” he said.

So how do you stay safe when roads are bad? AAA says easing into brakes to avoid slipping, cleaning headlights, and keeping wiper fluid topped off.

“Now we’re in territory of wet roads, snowy roads, icy roads. Just driving slow - slower, in general, is going to be a good place to start,” said Valerie Puma, communications specialist, NY AAA.

According to the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Department, winter weather, especially that first snowfall, means officers will be responding to a lot more accidents.

“The first day of winter is usually pretty busy for us on the road. We’ll have a lot of cars in the ditch. A lot of accidents. It’s time for people to get reacclimated to winter driving,” said Sergeant Ben Timerman.

With a long winter ahead, remember to slow down, give yourself extra time and stay safe