Captain Lee Ann H. Kenley, commanding officer of Troop I, would like to encourage all Missourians to stay off the snow and ice-covered roads during these frigid winter weather conditions. The recent snowstorm and sub-zero temperatures has thus far resulted in Troop I officers responding to 78 vehicle crashes and assisting 100 motorists who have either been stranded or slid off the highway.
If an emergency situation exists that requires you or someone in your family to travel, please remember some of these tips. The primary causes of most crashes on ice- and snow-covered roads are excessive speed and insufficient following distance. Slick road surfaces can increase a vehicle’s stopping distance by tenfold over normal conditions. Motorists should be aware that road conditions can change dramatically along the same highway. A relatively clear section of road should not be considered the signal for a driver to immediately increase his or her speed. These types of driving decisions can result in a traffic crash when the vehicle hits a patch of ice or snow shortly after accelerating.
Other important tips include adequately preparing both you and your vehicle. This snowstorm has led to traffic crashes which have caused delays on major highways. Please plan ahead for the possibility of just such a situation by making sure that your gas tank never nears the empty mark and that extra clothes, blankets, food, and water are in your vehicle. When departing on a trip during adverse weather conditions notify someone and inform them of your routes of travel. Another consideration before leaving should be checking your cell phone to make sure that it is fully charged and having the capability to keep it charged while traveling. If an emergency situation does arise, please contact the Missouri State Highway Patrol on our emergency line at 1-800-525-5555 or *55 on your cell phone.
Captain Kenley stated, “The perils of severe winter weather can be life-threatening if we do not plan ahead and make prudent decisions. This is especially true when traveling. For that reason, I, again, would like to take this opportunity to encourage all Missourians to stay home and off the highways until the roads are cleared adequately for safe travel.”
The public can verify the state's road conditions by calling the Missouri Road Condition Report Line at (1-888-275-6636), by checking MoDOT’s Road Condition Map, or by clicking on the Road Condition icon on the Patrol’s web site www.mshp.dps.mo.gov.
The Patrol encourages motorists and watercraft operators to protect themselves by making sure everyone in the vehicle is properly restrained in a seat belt or child restraint and everyone in the vessel is wearing an approved life jacket. Click It 4 Life and Wear It!