ST. LOUIS – When the road conditions are dangerous like today, it's important to remember the following words of caution – stay in your car if you slide off the road or get into an accident. It can literally be the difference between life and death.
The Missouri State Highway Patrol says it has handled hundreds of calls for service, stranded motorists, and crashes Monday. The patrol says the cause of most winter incidents is driving too fast for road conditions.
“Driving too fast for the road conditions, that’s what it comes down to. Ninety-nine percent of the time the crashes when we get into winter weather, the people are just driving a little bit too fast, they apply the brakes a little too hard, and begin sliding and lose control,” said Corporal Dallas Thompson, Missouri State Highway Patrol.
Three people were killed Sunday night in a winter-related accident near Bonne Terre. It began when a driver lost control and overturned and ended up in a ditch along Highway 67. Two good Samaritans stopped to help. The highway patrol says then another car lost control on Highway 67 and struck and killed all three of them while they were standing outside.
Officials say the safest way to help another motorist in trouble is to stay in your vehicle and call for help.
“If something does happen; if for some reason you do get into a crash or you slide off the roadway, the safest spot to be is in your vehicle with your seatbelt buckled because if you slide off the road it’s probably a location another vehicle might slide off there and the last thing you want to do is have an errant vehicle hit you while you’re unbuckled,” said Owen Hasson, MoDOT traffic incident manager.
If you are stranded or wish to report the location of a stranded vehicle, call 888-ASK-MODOT.