Slippery Roads: When should you call 911 if there's a crash?
YAKIMA, Wash.- You can hear your tires fighting to get through the snow. Making it harder to get home or to work.
Washington state troopers said they've responded to over 300 crashes in Yakima and the Tri-Cities area since the snow started to pile up.
Trooper Chris Thorson said many of them could be avoided if people would just slow down on the road.
“80 or 90 percent of our collisions are coming down to people just driving way too fast for the roadway conditions,” he said.
With so many crashes, local fire departments have stayed busy responding to most of them in the valley.
But just because there's a car on the side of the road, firefighters said you don't need to call 911 every single time.
“We don't have infinite number of resources, so if we're already out checking on a vehicle that's just abandoned in the ditch and somebody else really needs our help somewhere else, we're out of position for that,” West Valley Fire Chief Nathan Craig said.
He said they got multiple calls for the same car that had flipped over into a ditch on the side of the road.
But it turned out the driver was fine and just waiting for a tow truck to drag his vehicle back onto the street.
Craig said taking a minute to verify if someone actually needs help would save a lot of precious time for our first responders.
Especially since they'll be driving down the same slippery roads that caused the accident in the first place.
“We have the same risk on the road. We're driving half million-dollar fire trucks down a snowy, icy road,” Craig said.
Even though the snow is supposed to let up by tomorrow, freezing temperatures all week will keep the snow around longer than usual.
So, WSP said be careful for the rest of the week. Especially in the morning or at night when the roads are slick and a lot of people are behind the wheel.