Winter Weather Driving Reminders after First Snowfall

Winter weather made its first appearance of the season on Friday morning – and some people seemed to struggle making the adjustment. Chief Deputy Ryan Waldschmidt says, as expected, some people had issues with the slightly snow-covered roads. 

Waldschmidt tells us “we saw a very typical first snowfall of the year, which is people not used to driving in the snow and a lot of people end up in the ditch or in crashes. We did have well into the teens, maybe even into the twenties total for crashes and runoffs we saw throughout the county.”

He also reminds drivers that “if you lose control of you car and end up in the ditch, you were
traveling too fast to maintain control of your car. And that’s – especially in
these snowstorms – speed is more often than not the cause of a crash or the
cause of a runoff in the snow, so you need to adjust accordingly. Again, a lot
of people have tight timelines or deadlines or have to get to work or school or
elsewhere on time, but that’s why it’s critical to plan ahead and give yourself
those extra minutes.”

Staying informed and prepared for the weather before heading out for the daily commute is also important. 

Waldschmidt says “we preach throughout the winter time especially that you’ve got to give yourself some extra time to get to your destination. Give yourself some extra room to stop in case something happens in front of you that you need to react to, you’re not going to be able to stop as quickly. Turn your headlights on, watch the forecast, listen to the radio, check the news and the weather so you know if there’s a snowstorm coming. And if you can change your plans so you don’t have to travel, that’s best – but if you have to travel, then you need to plan accordingly.”

There were also a handful of crashes along Interstate 41 Friday morning – including one near the Fond du Lac/Winnebago County line.