AAA, Ohio State Highway Patrol offer tips for driving in winter conditions

TOLEDO, Ohio (WTVG) - Drivers dealt with some slick road conditions this morning that caused quite a few accidents.

From Toledo, to Oregon, to Sylvania Township, icy bridges and overpasses were a recipe for disaster during the morning commute.

"Unfortunately with the weather conditions when they deteriorate, we see an increase in traffic crashes," Sgt. Jared Ulinski said.

There probably wasn't much that could have been done to prevent the crashes today.

As TimeSaver Traffic reporter Heather Pollauf detailed this morning, the icy conditions developed just in time to impact the morning commute.

According to the Ohio State Highway Patrol, there were more than 22,000 crashes during the winter months last year alone, resulting in 42 fatalities and more than 5,000 injuries.

But there are steps you can take for a safer commute this winter.

Experts at AAA say it's important to winterize your car, ensuring you have good tires, good wipers, plenty of washer fluid and working lights.

It's also a good idea to have an emergency kit on standby in case you get stranded.

"Make sure that you're dressed properly, that you have a kit in the car of water, a blanket, things of that nature just in case you should slip off the road and have to wait for service," Director of Automotive Services Bob Kazmierczik said.

Once you're behind the wheel, Highway Patrol says to take it slow and allow yourself extra time to get to your destination.

"Speed is one of the largest contributing circumstances to traffic crashes we see," Sgt. Ulinski added. "People are just traveling too fast for the conditions, not giving themselves enough time to stop or to accelerate or to turn."