White Christmas creating ‘treacherous’ driving conditions

Snowstorms created a winter wonderland and brought the white Christmas many had hoped for - but also turned roads into icy danger zones.

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – Authorities responded to accident reports across Central Indiana as Christmas Eve snowstorms and frigid temperatures turned roads into danger zones.

Christmas travel conditions are “treacherous,” an Indiana State Police spokesman said, noting multiple crashes on I-465 and nearby roads, as well as other highways in Indianapolis.

More than 600 trucks from the Indiana Department of Transportation (INDOT) were deployed Sunday evening to clear roads statewide as part of the agency’s winter operations.

Indiana has more than 28,000 lane miles of interstates, U.S. highways and state highways – in addition to local roads and bridges – currently threatened by snow and ice.

Black ice can pose deadly risks to unsuspecting drivers, authorities said, and recommended driving no faster than 10 mph on potentially hazardous roads.

Even pre-treated roads and sidewalks could become problematic, according to officials, as rain and snow can wash away salt sprinkled on the ground.

Officials urged Hoosiers to stay off the roads but issued the following safety tips for people unable to avoid driving:

    • Accelerate and decelerate slowly.
    • Drive well below the posted speed limit.
    • Slow down when approaching intersections, off-ramps, bridges, overpasses and shady areas – all “hot spots” for black ice.
    • Remove snow from windows, lights, brake lights and signals before driving.
    • Do not stop while driving up a hill.
    • Maintain a following distance at least double the recommended distance on dry pavement.
    • Keep your foot off the gas pedal and resist hitting the brakes if your car begins to slide.
    • Avoid passing other vehicles, especially work trucks and snowplows.