SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Most drivers in western Massachusetts adapt to winter weather early on in the season, but it’s important to remember that roads can be slippery even if there’s no snow on the ground.
Connecticut resident Antonio Hainsiley told 22News he makes sure he’s prepared for winter roads before leaving the house. “I try to leave home earlier than normal because the traffic is normally heavier when you have accidents and police on the road,” he said.
Five people were hurt in accidents on I-91 Saturday from snow flurries and freezing rain. State Trooper Keith Armstrong told 22News the dangerous road conditions caused an eleven car pile up on I-91 Northbound just before Exit 9. On the other side of the highway, two accidents caused major delays for drivers heading Southbound.
Springfield resident Ricardo Wright said he’s personally seen just how dangerous a little bit of snow can be. “I work at Ricks Auto-body Shop, so I drive back-and-forth on Boston Road every day. Flurries may not seem like much, but this causes a lot of accidents, trust me I see a lot of cars coming to my job just because of days like these,” he said.
If you’re driving and you end up slipping on black ice, the best thing to do is to try and keep your steering wheel straight. If the back end of your car is going toward the left our right, try gently sliding your steering wheel toward the same direction to avoid spinning out of control.
You can also slow down by de-accelerating and keeping your steering wheel fixed in the position it’s in. If possible, shift into a low gear to gain more control of your car.
Jonathan Baru of Longmeadow said he’s seen how slippery the roads can get during light snow storms. “It’s probably the most like when there’s just a coating, especially when the temperature can change quickly if you get on the highway on overpasses it’s very slick. So I think people get very careless and think it’s just a little bit of snow no problem,” he said.
Black ice is most likely to format night or early in the morning when temperatures are at their lowest and there’s not a lot of cars on the road to melt the ice.