More slide-offs and crashes as roads remain icy
SAINT JOSEPH COUNTY, Ind. --- Many Michiana streets turned into ice rinks overnight, causing nearly 100 slide-offs and crashes in the area on Friday.
“As soon as I got into Mishawaka, it was just a white-out,” says Michael Slaninka, a local driver.
Slaninka was one of the many drivers taking it slow on the road during their morning commute Friday. From Plymouth to Mishawaka, Slaninka saw multiple crashes and folks stuck on the side of the road.
“Everybody was driving pretty responsibly, that was the good thing, just a lot of accidents on the side of the road,” recalls Slaninka.
He avoided a slide-off, and that’s because he’s pretty well adjusted to driving in these conditions.
“I used to be a professional driver,” Slaninka says.
As a former truck driver on the East Coast, Slaninka has had his fair share of navigating through wintery conditions, driving one of the largest vehicles on the road. He shares some tips for drivers that helped him stay safe on the roads, including keeping extra layers on-hand and investing in reflective triangles to warn other drivers that you are stopped on the side of the road.
“Another thing I would carry is extra sets of hats and gloves if you end up having to change a tire and you get soaked. We live in a first-world country, and we’ve cured conventional diseases, there’s no reason to die of hypothermia,” Slaninka advises. “The reflectiveness of the triangles will help people see you long before they get to you. Therefore, you don’t get sideswiped if you’re trying to do something to your car.”
He also recommends pumping your brakes when approaching stop lights, the same thing truck drivers do when they come to a complete stop.
“There are several lights in town here that you can’t hit doing 20 miles an hour, you have to perpetually slow down,” Slaninka says.
He hopes drivers will continue to be safe and prepared throughout the rest of the coming winter months.
“If people had been more prepared, I don’t think we’d have as many accidents as we have now,” says Slaninka.