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Accidents Occur Despite Salted Roads

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We got one of our first taste of winter; blowing snow and slippery roads made their first appearance of the new year. In Sioux Falls, as soon as the precipitation hit, so did city sanders. Thirty-eight sanders hit the streets to cover the emergency snow routes. All crews were sent out at the same time this morning.

"We got in, we got off and we will just monitor now,” said Galynn Huber with Sioux Falls Public Works. “When the temperatures start warming up the roads will dry out for us and then we don't have to worry about them.”

Public works officials are monitoring areas on the out-skirts of town to watch for drifting that might freeze over.

While there were a number of accidents this morning, officers say it's to be expected with the first share of bad weather. The Sioux Falls Police Department reports a total of 12 car accidents between 8 a.m. and 3 p.m. on Wednesday.

As for the highway patrol, officers say they had five accidents. Officers say, with the first snow and ice, also come the first of the winter weather crashes.

"It happens every year.  Once the snow hits we have a bunch of accidents and then they drop off over the next week once people remember how to drive in the snow or icy conditions,” said Sam Clemens with the Sioux Falls Police Department.

Police say the majority of those weather related accidents happen during the morning commute.

Highway patrol officers say drivers need to adapt to the winter weather driving conditions, and Captain Kevin Joffer says, based on his own experience, that takes about two major snow or ice events for drivers to change their habits.

"You always worry about the adaptation that takes place with motorists,” said Joffer. “We are very used to driving on dry roads, clear of any ice and snow; and so when you go to that people have to change their driving habits.”

Officers say reducing speed along with not using cruise control on wet surfaces are ways to start adapting to the winter driving conditions. They also say make sure you get a winter survival kit in your car in case of an emergency.

Maren Larson
Facebook Fan Page: Maren Larson KDLT News
Follow On Twitter: @MnlarsonKDLT
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