By Danielle Turcotte
Meridian Times staff writer
The winter snowstorms happen every year and should not come as a surprise to Michigan residents. However, plenty of drivers act as if amnesia came over them and they have forgetten how to drive in such slippery conditions.
Meridian Township Police Department Lt. Greg Frenger confirmed that, within the past few months, they have seen an increase in phone calls regarding accidents. “I’d have to look up my stats for the month of January, but at the end of last year we were up high,” Frenger said.
The combination of slick pavement and cold temperatures turns roads into places fit for an ice skater, but definitely not a car. Many cars, trucks and SUVs cannot handle these conditions resulting in an accident, a push, or even a tow.
Okemos resident Kristen Horwood complained that the township does not make it a priority to plow neighborhoods and making the roads safe. “(The neighborhood) doesn’t get plowed until later, like the following one or two days,” Horwood said. “It sucks!”
If the roads were plowed and salted in all neighborhoods driver Rachel Fariscal says she would not have been involved in an accident.
“The street I live on is just past a small dip in the road, and up ahead past the dip, I saw a mail truck stopped on the street. As I was driving, I stepped on the brake to slow down, but the ice prevented my car from stopping. Since the car kept moving even though I kept pumping the brakes, I tried to swerve to the left at the last minute to avoid the truck, but I still nicked the back of the mail truck. Whoops!”
Fariscal was being cautious and driving slowly—said she could not have done anything else to prevent the accident. There was no damage to either vehicle.
Michigan State University sophomore Yuxi Zhu experienced a similar situation on the day of the big snowstorm or what some students referred to as the “snowpocalypse.” When she was switching lanes her car accidentally went out of control and hit another car because of the slippery road conditions. “I was nervous since it was my first time to be involved in an accident,” Zhu said.
“Also, I think the government should clean the road as soon as possible for drivers, or it is going to be too dangerous for the drivers.” She learned her lesson and won’t drive on the roads next time the news predicts such heavy snowstorms. Zhu said a police officer told her he saw around six accidents happen because of the road conditions.
Finally, the temperatures are rising and giving residents hope about spring arriving soon. However, the weather is still fluctuating between warmer temperatures and freezing ones meaning pothole season is here. Okemos drivers can view the Google Map below that has locations, photos, and comments about the most dreadful potholes.
View Fix MI Roads! Pothole Reports from Michigan Motorists in a larger map