January 20th, 2017

Relatively few collisions considering the weather


By Gillian Slade on January 12, 2017.


gslade@medicinehatnews.com 
@MHNGillianSlade

Icy roads and extremely cold temperatures contributed to 10 motor vehicle collisions in a 24-hour period in Medicine Hat on Tuesday and Wednesday.

“Most of the collisions we are seeing are rear-end collisions,” said Sgt. Clarke White, Medicine Hat Police Services.

There are several likely contributors, he said, including icy conditions, not adjusting driving patterns to the conditions of the road, and not allowing enough space for other vehicles.

As high as those numbers are compared with last year, the city is faring rather well.

From Jan. 1-11 in 2016 there were 76 reported accidents. In the same time frame this year there were only 40, said Clarke.

Last year the weather was milder than we are currently experiencing but whether freezing rain may have contributed to those high numbers is not clear, said Clarke.

The city began night-time snow removal Wednesday at 10 p.m. This operation requires the snow to be graded, loaded onto trucks and deposited at one of the designated snow disposal sites.

This will begin on sections of 13th Avenue SE and then move to other areas of the city. No-parking signs will be in place during the snow removal operation to allow crews to operate efficiently and effectively.

When it comes to driving safely on winter roads, you need to drive slowly enough to ensure you can stop safely at a traffic light or stop sign, said White. When starting out in the morning, simply assume the road is extremely slippery and drive accordingly until you get a feel for conditions.

When you have stopped for a light, pedestrian or stop sign, make sure you leave plenty of space between your vehicle and the one in front of you in case you are rear ended. This will prevent you from hitting the vehicle in front, said White. At intersections, be aware of other drivers that may be unable to stop.

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