Police respond to dozens of winter weather-related crashes

EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (WEAU) -- Hazardous winter conditions led to a number of crashes and vehicle assists throughout Eau Claire.

As of 6p.m. on Monday evening Eau Claire officers say there have been at least six crashes with major property damage and 12 slide-in's.

The Eau Claire State Patrol also responded to a number of incidents saying deputies have assisted in 19 crashes and 32 run-offs.

However both departments thankfully say there have been no major injuries.

Officer Kyler Roder said, “We have had some crashes however we've had a lot more vehicle assists, vehicles that are stuck in the real heavy snow and turn lanes and places that haven't been plowed yet, as well as vehicles siding into ditches off of roadways.”

The department does say for non-emergency accidents drivers may have to be patient as the department is only responding to priority calls.

“The traffic calls, the winter weather calls, but nonpriority calls have to be delayed because we only have a certain number of resources on days like today so we're handling those as we can,” explained Roder.

Officers want to remind drivers to not overestimate their driving abilities or that of their car and to remember other drivers may not have vehicles equipped with features like four-wheel drive.

“Allow extra stopping distance,” advised Roder. “Keep enough stopping distance from the vehicle ahead of you and if you're turning at a stop light or an intersection be cautious because your vehicle might be slipping so you may not be able to get out in front of traffic quickly enough.”

The department also says since the posted speed limit is only meant for ideal conditions remember to slow down.

“It's difficult because the snow is so thick and heavy that is pulling your vehicle to the side of the road if you're going through heavy snow. We've had slippery days earlier this year but this is one of the more difficult days. People are getting more accustomed to winter driving but it is something you have to be cautious of,” added Roder.

The department also says to remember to be careful even when things are plowed Tuesday morning.

Officers say it can still be slippery even if the roads look like they're in better condition.

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