EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (WEAU) - According to AAA more than one million people were expected to hit the roads for Thanksgiving this year. Unfortunately for those drivers, they are faced with a tough choice: Brave the inclement weather or wait out the storm.
With more snow is in the forecast before the weekend is over. Sgt. Jason Bakken of the Wisconsin State Patrol is reminding people that snow, means slow down.
“The pattern that we're getting for weather right now is rather unpredictable,” Bakken said.
What we are asking of people is to be mindful of the changing weather conditions and the changing road conditions out there. We've got some rain falling now, so that will start sticking to the road and start to freeze and turn into ice.
Sgt. Bakken said last winter, more than 18,000 Wisconsin traffic accidents were related to winter weather. This year, state patrol is asking people to take extra caution when traveling home.
"Check the weather, to see if it's even feasible for them to operate their vehicles. Check the road conditions on 511 Wisconsin to see if they should be on the roads,” Bakken said. “If they find themselves out on the road slow down, give themselves a good following distance between the vehicles.”
Sgt. Bakken also said just because someone has a sport utility vehicle doesn't make them protected from a potential crash.
“SUVs are quite popular in Wisconsin and a lot of people have overconfidence in their abilities and equipment with SUV,” Bakken said. “They really don't know they are in trouble until it is too late and they find themselves in a ditch or crash."
As the snow plows hit the roads, Sgt. Bakken wants people to be mindful of slush.
"Winter brings challenging weather conditions for folks. The roads end up being a little more slippery,” Bakken said. “Also with the slush, it can manipulate your steering on your vehicle and make you go in different directions."
He recommends holding off on travel if you can.
"It would give plow truck drivers and the counties time to get those roadways clear," Bakken said.
Sgt. Bakken also said people should keep an emergency kit in their car with blankets, food and warm clothing in case you become stranded due to the weather. If you need to check road conditions, call Wisconsin 511.