Icy roads: Officials respond to more than 150 crashes

DOUGLAS COUNTY, Ore. -- Due to icy conditions, Oregon State Police responded to about 22 accidents this weekend alone in Douglas County, and that doesn't even include people who spun out and didn't report it.

If you do plan to hit the roads, state police say there are a few things you should remember. "The number one thing we want to encourage everybody to do is slow down," said Lt. Doug Ladd of the state police. "Almost every time we have one of these crashes in bad conditions, it's because someone is going too fast."

Roseburg Towing says they responded to triple the number of calls compared to a normal weekend. "There was an additional 20 to 30 spintouts on top of those accidents," said Christian Gruber of Roseburg Towing.

If you carry chains, officials say you need to know how to put them on.

You should also be familiar with your 4-wheel drive. "4 wheel drive doesn't mean 4 wheel drive stop," said Gruber. "Not giving yourself 3 cars of safe travel distance, you're going to crash if you don't give yourself enough time."

If you do hit black ice and end up swerving, officials say the worst thing you can do is jam on the brakes. They say don't panic, pump your brakes slowly and lightly while keeping your wheels rolling.

Then you can gradually steer yourself back into a straight line. "General rule is 15 to 20 mph below the speed limit when you're in snow, and probably even slower on ice," Gruber said.

Here are the numbers for crashes reported over the weekend provided by the Douglas County Sheriff's office:

  • DCSO responded to 99 motor vehicle crashes
  • Roseburg police responded to 26 motor vehicle crashes
  • Myrtle Creek police responded to 2 motor vehicle crashes
  • Winston police responded to 5 motor vehicle crashes
  • Sutherlin police responded to 5 motor vehicle crashes