Winter weather requires preparation

Joanne Bello

Not everyone is prepared for a winter-time accident when it happens.

Sara Noyes, junior English and justice studies major, was in a car accident that she said she felt unprepared for. She was going around an icy bend that wasn’t salted when her car slid into a tree.

“I wasn’t properly dressed. I froze my butt off waiting for the police and my mom,” Noyes said. “I wish I would have had a blanket. It would have been smart.”

Police Lt. Michelle Lee said there are some simple things people can have with them in case of an accident.

“Keep your insurance card with you,” Lee said. “If there is another driver involved, you can give it to them.”

Other suggestions Lee has for objects you should keep with you in the winter include:

– a blanket

– a working flashlight

– a bag of salt to reduce slipping and to weigh down the vehicle

– an ice scraper and snow brush

Lee also said most insurance cards will have a number for either a towing company or for AAA.

“I had my cell phone on me, which saved my life,” Noyes said. “If I wouldn’t have had it on me, I wouldn’t have been able to call the police, and I would have been stranded.”

According to fire chief Jim Williams, the bad road conditions aren’t just the only reason for winter crashes.

“During the winter time people don’t clear off their windows and that contributes to a lot of the problems,” Williams said. “Some people will only clear off a little portion of their front window to see out of, but they can’t see clearly. And it causes an accident.”

In 2004 Ohio had seen a 38.6 percent increase in collisions that involve fixed objects, including trees, fire hydrants and telephone polls, according to a report written by the National Center for Statistics and Analysis and the U.S. Department of Transportation.

“Everybody is in a hurry,” Williams said. “If everybody would slow down, then we wouldn’t have a problem.”

If you are involved in a minor accident you can call the police station at (330) 673-7732.

Contact public affairs reporter Joanne Bello at [email protected]