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Crews preparing roads for first snowfall of season, warn residents to be extra cautious

WSBT 22 photo

The first snowfall of the season always creates some challenges on the road.

Crews have been out getting things ready for tomorrow's commute to make sure those challenges aren't major.

This is the first test of the season.

INDOT has been preparing all week to be ready when the snow starts to fall. Even though most will melt, they urge people to still take every precaution.

Plows are lined up and ready to hit the streets.

INDOT Communications Director Matt Dietchley says this first snowfall shouldn't be too bad for drivers.

“The ground temperature is still pretty warm, so a lot of the main roads are in pretty good shape,” said Dietchley. “If you hit a bridge or curve, then suddenly it’s a little more icy in those situations.”

He does say it will be a slight challenge, since it'll go straight from rain to snow.

"We can’t pre-treat the roads with our salt brine to try and give us a leg up when that snow starts falling,” said Dietchley. “If we do that, the rain is just going to wash it right off.”

Once the snow falls, Indiana State Police say they will be ready.

Sergeant Ted Bohner says the first snow usually spells trouble.

“Unfortunately, it has a tendency to make it a long day for all first responses, because people just aren’t used to it,” said Bohner.

He says the tips are common sense: slow down, give extra space to drivers and give yourself more time to get to your destination.

He says people still tend to not listen.

“Slow down,” said Bohner. “We go to so many crashes where people say ‘I wasn’t speeding, I was going the speed limit.’ Well, you learned a lesson the hard way, that when it’s snowy and bad, the speed limit is too fast.”

Bohner says there are some easy danger spots to look out for.

“Pay attention to the bridge decks,” said Bohner. “The concrete road surfaces have a tendency to slick up, like the darker colored asphalt, so keep those in mind. We’re going to have leaves down, which will make it slick especially with snow on top.”

Deitchley says people need to actually listen to their warnings.

“You’re always going to feel like you sound like a broken record,” said Deitchley. “Every year for the first snow you say the same thing: “Slow down, you forgotten how to drive’ but I’d rather sound like a broken record and make sure people are driving safely out there, than have someone -- or a few people -- find out the hard way.”

Bohner says the last thing he wants to do tomorrow is go to someone who wrecked because they didn't pay attention to the weather.

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