ALTOONA, Iowa -- The Iowa State Patrol is reminding drivers to stay safe while on the roads as the snowy weather sets in. It's a stronger reminder after the multi-car pileup in Altoona, Iowa Monday, December 9.
"When you have the snow overnight and people get up and assess the situation, they take off driving, a lot of time it improves because the snow is already over," says Trooper Dan Loussaert with the Iowa State Patrol. "Where (Monday) when it happens in the middle of the day, all of a sudden it's getting slicker that people realize, all of a sudden visibility becomes an issue."
Trooper Loussaert says you have to respond to changing road conditions quickly. He says to slow down and increase your following distance. Also, pay attention to the other drivers around.
"One bad choice all of a sudden affects another driver and another drive," he says. "And then you have a big crash. And too often you have injuries in those crashes and even fatalities."
Trooper Loussaert adds if you do find yourself in a crash, get your car to the side of the road if possible, then stay in your car. This will help you avoid a secondary crash and staying protected inside your car. If you can't get your car off the road, get yourself to the side of the road.
It's also a good time to make sure your car is winter-ready. Make sure your tires and windshield wipers are in good shape. And double-check you have enough windshield wiper fluid.