Illinois State Police Urge Caution on Roads - News and Weather For The Quad Cities -

Illinois State Police Urge Caution on Roads

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With the freezing rain and ice Friday came dangerous driving conditions on roads across the QCA.

State Police were out in force to help keep everyone safe.

Illinois State Police say, in this local district alone, they responded to calls for about 15 cars in ditches along the interstate on Friday - something officials we talked to called typical.

"The first time people are driving on ice, the first time they drive on snow every year, we get a lot of crashes, unfortunately," said Illinois State Police Master Sergeant Lloyd Murphy.

"It gets slippery out and people forget how slippery it is out," he added.

But even on our short ride along, we saw a very real reminder of the dangers these weather conditions pose for drivers.

Master Sgt. Murphy stopped at the weigh station on I-80 to check on the clean up process from a semi-truck that lost control on the icy ramp and rolled, spilling its load of seed corn.

"It is winter time and the roads are slippery," Murphy said.

Murphy says a lot of accidents this time of year are avoidable, if only drivers would adjust to the conditions.

"Speed limits are the maximum speed under ideal conditions," he explained.

When the roads are slick with snow and ice, everyone needs to slow down, leave plenty of time to get where they're going, and leave plenty of space between their car and the car they're following.

It's a lesson one driver learned the hard way during our ride along. He was spotted going 78 miles an hour on I-80 and following about four feet from the car ahead of him.

"When roads are wet, that's especially dangerous," Master Sgt. Murphy said.

"And he's going to get a citation for following too closely today. That's a $120 ticket, which is still a lot better than being involved in a crash out here and somebody getting hurt," he said.

Illinois State Police are all hands on deck when the weather is like this, to be ready to respond to crashes as they occur.

"We try to get to calls as fast as we can. There are unfortunately times where people have to wait a little bit just because we're going from one call to the next," Master Sgt. Murphy said.

State police say if you are in a crash, you will want to have things like a cell phone, blankets, and food and water to tide you over until help arrives.

And, you should stay with your vehicle - It's a lot easier for emergency crews to find you there and it's safer for everyone.

If you come across a police car or any other emergency vehicle along the side of the road, it's important that you move over and slow down.

When the streets are slick, it's all too easy to lose control and end up hurting first responders.

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