When most of us are safe and warm inside, there are a handful of folks whose job it is to head into the jaws of winter weather. These city, county and state snow removal crews face long, bitter cold hours doing the nerve-grinding job of making streets and highways safe for motorists.
The Federal Highway Administration reports that 70 percent of the U.S. population faces traveling in the snow and ice. These conditions account for more than 116,000 Americans injured and more than 1,300 killed on each year. In fact, 24 percent of all weather-related vehicle crashes occur under such wintry situations.
Completing snow removal on the roads may take several days, said Barton County Road and Bridge Department Director Phillips. What’s more, the area is subject to heavy snow at any time. “Motorists must heed the warning ‘do not go out if you do not need to,’ and let the plows do the work so the snow plow operators can be safe as well.”
The FHA echoes this sentiment. It is best to stay off the roads.
Then there are other safety measures, such as having tires with good traction, cleared windows and headlights with properly working windshield wipers and anti-icing fluid in order to see and be seen. They should also leave a good amount of space between their vehicle and the one in front and not to pass road-clearing trucks.
Finally, all safety officials ask drivers to remember that taking one’s time and driving safely is more likely to get one to their destination.