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Michigan State Police reports 88 crashes in 24-hour span

By: Kayla Dimick | Southfield Sun | Published January 20, 2016


METRO DETROIT —  Area police and road crews are warning drivers to take it slow in the ice and snow after reporting nearly 90 crashes during a recent 24-hour time span.

According to Lt. Michael Shaw, public information officer for the Michigan State Police Metro Post — which covers Wayne, Oakland and Macomb counties — troopers handled 88 crashes Jan. 12-13.

Shaw said a majority of the crashes reported were single-vehicle spinouts due to driver speed or inattentive driving.

On Jan. 12, the National Weather Service reported 2 inches of snow, in addition to fog, haze and blowing snow. On Jan. 13, the NWS reported 1 inch of snow.

Although the snow fell, Shaw said the crashes were not a result of wintry weather. Instead, drivers involved in the accidents overestimated their driving abilities in the conditions. 

“Snow and ice never causes traffic crashes. If that was the case, nobody else would be able to drive through that area,” Shaw said.

A major thing to remember while driving through wintry conditions, Shaw said, is to take it slow in ice and snow.

“I think a lot of people overestimate their driving ability in snow. People have the tendency to go the speed limit or faster and that can end you up in a ditch,” Shaw said. “Pay attention to what your capabilities are. If you’re not a good driver in the snow or winter weather, wait a few hours before heading out.”

Craig Bryson, public information officer for the Road Commission for Oakland County, said road crews were battling the snow and ice every day last week.

“We’ve had just about every kind of winter weather over the last seven days or so,” Bryson said.

A combination of falling snow, snow blowing over the roads and icy conditions proved a bit of a challenge for drivers, Bryson said.

“We’ve been out pretty much around the clock,” Bryson said. “We monitor the weather and we watch it very closely. We’ve been trying to stay on top of it, but when you have squalls that come through and dump another half-inch on top of (the snow), that complicates things.”

Bryson also recommended decreasing the number on the speedometer.

“As always, people need to drive appropriately for the weather conditions. People are wanting to drive too fast for this  inclement weather,” he said.