The Indiana State
Police is reminding motorists--as the season’s next storm approaches the
region--that winter weather doesn’t cause traffic accidents.
decisions and skills cause traffic accidents.
hazardous driving conditions will be issued by city, county, and state law
enforcement as well as by local and national media,” the ISP said in a
statement released today. “Many will heed the warnings. Many more will
ignore the warnings. With another major storm approaching, the Indiana State
Police, again, reminds motorists to limit travel when possible. If travel is
not necessary, then stay home.”
“Most calls for
service received by the Indiana State Police and other police agencies
during winter storms are for crashes and motorists that slide off state
roads and interstates,” the ISP added. “It is important to remember that
snow and ice covered roads do not cause crashes. The crashes are caused by
unsafe driving on the snow and ice covered roadway.”
For those who must
travel in bad weather, the ISP offers these tips:
¥Leave sooner and
expect your travel time to be twice as long as normal.
following distance between you and the vehicle in front of you by at least
five times greater than normal.
intersections with great care. Other drivers not paying attention will slide
through red lights.
¥Signal all lane
changes and turning movements.
“The posted speed
limit may be more than twice as fast as the reduced speed drivers should
travel to reduce the possibility of a collision or loss of control that puts
a vehicle into a retaining wall, ditch, or another motorist,” the ISP said.
9-21-5-1 specifies that “Speed shall be restricted as necessary to avoid
colliding with a person, vehicle, or other conveyance on, near or entering a
control of their vehicle or who are involved in a crash resulting in a
police report should expect to be cited for this offense, which carries a
maximum fine of $500,” the ISP said.
“If you are
involved in a crash, are uninjured, and all vehicles are drivable, involved
drivers should move to a safe place completely off the road, be it the next
exit or to the parking lot of a business, to await law enforcement response
for a police report,” the ISP said. “It is important to remember that
crashes involving injury or lane blockage receive priority attention ahead
of property damage crashes. So keep in mind that it may be an extended
period of time before law enforcement arrives.”
The whole reason
for moving drivable vehicles off the road after an accident, the ISP added,
“is to avoid secondary crashes of other inattentive motorists crashing into
your scene or sideswiping you if you’ve only moved to the side of the road.”
something else to keep in mind, the ISP said: “Crash scenes with vehicles
disabled in the roadway and state police presence may have the state police
vehicle facing the wrong way with emergency lights and headlights on. This
is to warn approaching motorists of impending danger.”
And remember this
as well: Indiana’s Move Over Law states motorists must change lanes
away from the emergency or utility vehicle if they can do it safely.
If not possible to
move away from the emergency vehicle, motorists must slow down and proceed
with caution. “Please give us room to work,” the ISP said. “We are asking
motorists to slow down and/or move over when safe to do so.”
in the Move Over law are police vehicles, ambulances., fire trucks and
rescue equipment, highway incident-response vehicles, highway work vehicles
including snow plows, and tow trucks.
More: “The point of
not calling police agencies for road information during snow emergencies
cannot be overstressed. Calling police departments about road conditions may
delay action on critical life emergency 911 calls. Road conditions are
likely the same for the area you want to know about as they are looking out
your front window.”
state police facilities to ask for road conditions will be directed to
either call the Indiana Department of Transportation’s Road and Weather
automated system at (800) 262-7623 or visit the INDOT traffic map at