The snow just keeps coming this winter. Des Moines broke its previous record for the snowiest start to the year. According to a meteorologist for the National Weather Service, on Feb. 19, the state capital had received 37.8 inches of snow. The former record was 37.4 inches which was set in 1962.
Snowy roads proved deadly
All that precipitation causes dangerous road conditions for Iowa drivers. The Des Moines Register states a woman was killed in an accident in southwest Iowa on Feb. 10, where the snowy roads played a role.
The driver of a pickup was headed west on Highway 34 in Taylor County when she lost control of the vehicle. Her truck crossed the center line and hit a minivan headed the opposite direction. The highway was snow-covered
Driver and baby are not seriously injured
The driver of the minivan, Merna Padilla-King, was declared dead at the scene. The pickup driver had an infant in the car with her. Both the driver and the baby were taken to the hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.
The Iowa State Patrol is continuing to investigate the crash.
Sometimes staying home is not an option when weather conditions are bad. If you must drive on snowy roads, here are some safety tips.
Give the car in front of you more space
When road conditions are slick, increase your following distance to five or six seconds. This will give you more time to react and slow down if need be.
If you can avoid a full stop, do
It takes much more inertia to get your car moving after a full stop. If you can keep your vehicle rolling, you will not lose momentum which can cause your vehicle to get stuck or start sliding when you accelerate.
Slow down and speed up more gradually
Give your vehicle more time to slow down when you approach a light or stop sign. You want to avoid sliding on ice or snow. When you accelerate, you should also do this more slowly for the same reason.
Do not use cruise control
If your wheels lose traction and start to spin, cruise control will keep you accelerating. If you do not have your foot on the pedal, you may not realize what is happening until it is too late.
With winter continuing in full force, it is important to exercise extra caution on snowy and icy roads. By slowing down, increasing your following distance and not using cruise control, you may be able to avoid a vehicle accident this winter.