Slick roads mean more fender-benders

State and county law enforcement have responded to 34 weather-related collisions and slide-offs in a week, they said Monday.

Since Nov. 9, Wyoming Highway Patrol troopers have worked 16 calls for service, mainly slide-offs, and they’ve investigated 13 crashes, according to Lt. Matt Brackin.

Twenty-three of those resulted in citations, he said, most of which were for not driving appropriately in winter conditions.

“The first big storm seems to catch everyone off guard,” Brackin said.

The Teton County Sheriff’s Office also worked five minor weather-related collisions in the last week, Sgt. Clay Platt said. Most of those were fender benders due to someone not being able to stop on icy roads and collided with the car in front of them.

Citations for speeding too fast for conditions were given in some of those incidents, too, Platt said.

Law enforcement officials said after the weekend’s snowfall the roads are packed with ice and snow, and it’s time to slow down and distance your car from the cars in front of you.

“As more snow piles up, just realize it can even be more hazardous when temperatures are closer to 32 degrees,” Brackin said. “You get that layer of water on top of the ice and snow.”

A car collided with a Wyoming Highway Patrol car on Teton Pass last week, Brackin said. The trooper was stopped on the shoulder investigating a crash when a driver couldn’t stop on the icy road even though the car was only going about 15 mph. No one was hurt, he said.

The keys to safe winter driving, Brackin said, are to slow down, pay attention and extend distances between cars in case of sudden stops.

Contact Emily Mieure at 732-7066 or courts@jhnewsandguide.com.

Emily Mieure covers criminal justice and emergency news. She also leads the News&Guide’s investigative efforts. She has reported for WDRB TV in Louisville, Ky., WFIE TV in Evansville, Ind., and WEIU TV in Charleston, Ill.

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